Thursday, September 19, 2013

Submerged Bicycle Bridge in Haarlem

The city of Haarlem wanted to create a barrier free passage where a main arterial route for motor traffic and a main cycle route along a river bank crossed each other’s paths. But there was no space for an overpass, and a tunnel right next to a river was not such a great idea either. So designers came up with the plan to lead the cycle route through the river under the approach span of the two existing drawbridges for the arterial road. A perfect idea, but there was just one small problem: there was not enough clearance, the bridges were almost 30 centimetres or a little under a foot too low. So what do you do? That was not so hard in a country full of civil engineers who specialize in dams, dikes and flood gates: you simply lower the cycle route below the water level so that there is enough head room for the people cycling there. In the video you can see that it is heavily used by all types of people cycling on a variety of bicycles. The city of Haarlem can be proud to have created one more barrier free cycle route in the Netherlands. And cycling under the water level on a cycle ‘bridge’ is a unique experience, even in the Netherlands. Read and see more at Bicycle Dutch.

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