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First cycle bridge over Brussels Ring Road opens in Machelen
The first cycling and pedestrian bridge over the busy Brussels Ring Road, located between Machelen-Diegem and Zaventem, is now officially open.
Its opening signifies completion of the F3, the long-awaited cycle highway connecting Leuven and Brussels, VRT reports.
“This bridge is a very important missing link that we have realised for that important bicycle connection between Leuven and Brussels,” said Marijn Struyf of De Werkvennootschap, a Flemish organisation committed to large and complex mobility projects.
“There are a lot of people who commute by bike from Leuven to the capital to work, and until today they had to take many detours to cross the ring road. With the bicycle bridge, cyclists will be able to continue their trip without detours and without losing time.”
The new cycle bridge saves an estimated two to three kilometres in the commute from Leuven to Brussels. It cost over €24 million and took 18 months to complete (photo Besix Group).
“It's not easy to put up a bridge like that,” Struyf explained. “We are working above one of the busiest traffic routes in our country – pillars have to be placed and the bridge has to be put in place, for which we had to close the ring road for a few nights.”
Commuters who crossed the bicycle bridge on Monday were welcomed with coffee and pastries, and expressed their satisfaction with a now shorter, safer commute into the capital.
“This was perhaps one of the final things that stopped people cycling to work in Brussels,” one of the commuters told VRT. “Before this, we really had to cycle between cars on murderous lanes. We had to wait a long time for the bicycle bridge, but it will be so much safer.”
Others pointed out that the route wasn’t quite finished yet. “In the Brussels region, the route still needs to be extended, and there is also still work to be done on signalling,” one commuter said.
Flemish Minister of Mobility, Lydia Peeters (Open VLD) and delegate for Flemish Brabant, Tom Dehaene (CD&V) were the first people to cross the Brussels Ring Road by bike at its opening ceremony (pictured, main image).