Limburg to build ‘cloverleaf for bicycles’ in Hasselt
The province of Limburg is going to construct a new bicycle bridge at the Albert Channel’s lock in Godsheide (Hasselt). The so-called ‘cloverleaf of bicycles’ is one of the important pillars for the Limburg bicycle network.
Construction works will start next month. The building of the bridge will take nine months, and will be ready by the summer of 2021. The project will cost 6,2 million euros.
The new bridge will allow to cycle safely from one bank of the Albert Channel to the other at the lock in Godsheide. It will be a direct connection between Hasselt and the northern part of Limburg, and it will also be the east-west link along the Albert Channel.
“The new bicycle bridge is part of the Limburg bicycle highway network and is an important part of the route along the Albert Channel,” says the Deputy for Mobility, Bert Lambrechts. “That’s the bicycle highway that connects Ham and Riemst over a 62-km-long stretch.
Crossing the channel
“The bicycle highway switches to the other bank near the lock in Godsheide where cyclists can cross the Albert Channel,” the deputy continues.
The bridge has to become the heart of the Limburg bicycle highway network, just like the cloverleaf in Lummen does for car traffic in the province. This way, the province hopes to motivate people to make a sustainable choice.
“Today, there is no safe way for cyclists to cross the Albert Channel,” explains Lambrechts. “The separate bicycle bridge will solve this problem and offer a safe and comfortable connection.”
Also, the touristic bicycle network will use the new bridge. It will offer recreational cyclists a unique view on the hydro-electric power station and the lock. It will provide an additional cycling experience between Hasselt and ‘Cycling through the Water’ (Fietsen door het Water) in Bokrijk.
“The new bicycle bridge perfectly fits in our strategy to strengthen the water experience,” says Frieda Brepoels, chairwoman of the Flemish Waterway (De Vlaamse Waterweg).
“Cyclists will get a nice outlook on the Albert Channel and the busy shipping traffic, the locks of Hasselt, and the installation of the hydro-electric power station from the bridge.”
The bridge is also essential at the local level. “It is situated on a busy bicycle route and connects the university campus of Diepenbeek with the Corda Campus and the campuses in Hasselt,” adds Alderman for Mobility, Marc Schepers.
The total investment represents 6,2 million euros. The Flemish Waterway will pay 2,8 million of it; the province of Limburg 1,6. The remaining budget will be provided by the European Fund for Regional Development (Europees Fonds voor Regionale Ontwikkeling, EFRO).