Work has started on the Blauwe Loper, or Blue Carpet: Europe’s longest bridge for bikes.
The 800m span will traverse a lake, the Winschoterdiep waterway, the A7 motorway and a nature reserve to connect the town of Groningen with a newly-built recreational area called the Blauwestad.
The structure, which will cost around €6m to build, will be built from certified hardwood from Gabon and be fitted with solar panels.
Apart from those on two feet or two wheels, the bridge will cater to bats, which can, if they choose, use LED lighting on the bridge to navigate from a nearby park to their foraging place on the Oldambtmeer.
The bridge will also be painted in a "bat-friendly colour".
The bridge may end up being longer than planned when work ends.
"We think we can stretch it to a kilometre by connecting it to the Hoofdstraat in Blauwestad," project leader Reinder Lanting told the Dagblad Noorden paper.
The bridge is expected to be ready for action by the end of the year, and to last for the next 80.
Image: Groningen Province’s rendering of the bridge
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