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Hovenring – World’s First Aerial Bicycle Roundabout

by John Symon

January 31, 2014 (Eindhoven, Netherlands) – The world’s first suspended bicycle path roundabout, Hovenring, now stands between the Dutch municipalities of Eindhoven, Veldhoven and Meerhoven hence its name, which means “Ring of the Hovens” in Dutch reports the Wikipedia.

The structure is officially a roundabout, but in reality is a circular suspension bridge. The deck has a 72 metres (236 ft) diameter and this is suspended from a 70 metres (230 ft) tall central pylon by 24 cables. The entire construction is made of steel according to Wikipedia, but Pedal believes that parts of the deck are made from lightweight composite materials.

Hovenring initially opened to the public in December, 2011, but vibrations caused it to be closed again until these issues could be resolved and the structure was finally reopened in June 2012. The total cost was about 20 million Euros ($30.3m CDN) reports Bike Dutch.

The futuristic structure is designed to showcase the technology-driven economies of local towns and lighting on the ring refers to Eindhoven’s designation as “the city of lights.” Eindhoven is about 87km southeast of Rotterdam.

The cutting-edge Dutch design seems to have inspired jealousy among Canadian bike advocates: “The Dutch have realised the creative potential of inexpensive lightweight bicycle path construction,” posted Montreal City Councillor Peter McQueen—a noted bike advocate–on Facebook. “Meanwhile in Montreal, we can’t even get a straight 25 meter bike and pedestrian bridge over Decarie Blvd in the Vendome metro danger zone in NDG!”

Read more:

The Hovenring here.
Wikipedia here.
Netherlands Cycling here.
Twisted Sifter here.

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