Lanklaar bicycle bridge and ecoduct will be ready in April

The Roads and Traffic Agency (Agentschap Wegen en Verkeer, AWV) is building a bicycle bridge and an ecoduct over the Boslaan (N75) in Lanklaar (Limburg province). The new bicycle construction is part of the 5.5-km-long bicycle path through the Lanklaarderbos and will officially open by the end of April. The cycle paths are ready; only the bridge needs to be finished. The project represents a 9-million-euro investment.

Construction works started in 2023. The idea was to build a new ‘ecoduct’ and a bicycle bridge over the Boslaan in Lanklaar (Dilsen-Stokkem) near the Sparrendal recreational area. Cyclists, pedestrians, and animals should be able to move safely between the nature reserves of the Hoge Kempen National Park, which the Boslaan currently bisects. 

Safe crossing for people and animals

The Boslaan is a regional road that connects Hasselt with Dilsen-Stokkem. From Genk, the road continues into a wooded area and runs along the Hoge Kempen National Park. The region is known among hiking and cycling enthusiasts for its numerous hiking and cycling trails.

That is why the Flemish government is investing in a safe crossing for people and animals and a stronger connection between the nature reserves, with a bicycle bridge and an ecoduct or nature bridge.

No asphalt

The bicycle bridge will be 245 meters long and 5 meters wide, with a spacious cycle path of 3 meters. The cycle path leading to the bridge will run through newly planted heathland. The span over the Boslaan is 34 meters, 6 meters above the roadway, and the bridge stands on 36 foundations. There will be no lampposts, but there will be LED lighting under the railing.

Remarkable detail: there will be no smooth asphalt on the bridge. This has to do with the presence of colubrid snakes. When they hear a bicycle coming, they want to crawl away and can’t do that on slippery surfaces.

Natural elements

The ecoduct will be 60 meters wide, with a 30-meter-long bridge over the Boslaan. It will connect with the surrounding nature and be decorated with natural elements and water holes to increase its appeal to the animals.

The bicycle bridge also fits into Dilsen-Stokkem’s bicycle plans: it is a central link in a broader cycling story for Dilsen-Stokkem as part of the city’s bicycle policy plan. On a larger scale, a bicycle connection is being created between As and Dilsen-Stokkem.

Both projects – the bicycle bridge and the ecoduct – represent an investment of 9 million euros. Flemish Minister Peeters is investing 5.2 million euros in the bicycle bridge; the ecoduct is financed by the European Union.

The concrete plans come from the Roads and Traffic Agency, the Agency for Nature and Forests, the Department of the Environment, and the city of Dilsen-Stokkem.

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