The amazing Hovenring is a suspended bike path that "floats" over a busy roundabout marking the entrance to Eindhoven and Veldhoven - and it was just recognized as one of the greatest achievements in Dutch design. The Netherlands is widely known for its thriving bicycle culture, but the new hovering bridge created by Dutch engineering specialists IPV Delft takes greener transportation to a whole new level - literally. Approximately 236 feet in diameter, the ring provides a tailor-made solution that reduces congestion while also maximizing cyclist safety.
Now separated from the car traffic below, bicyclists can enjoy the freedom and peace of mind to travel comfortably. The roundabout below the Hovenring is a major intersection along the A2 highway, one of the busiest in the Netherlands. Before the bike path was developed, local bicyclists shared the road with more than 25,000 vehicles on a daily basis. Additionally, the surrounding area has seen a boom in residents over the last few years, many of whom bike to school with their children before going to work. And while road sharing is heavily encouraged and respected throughout the country, car accidents are bound to happen and cyclists are especially vulnerable in high traffic areas.
Not only a community-centric solution to the city’s transportation issues, the Hovenring is also a true architectural novelty. The 1,000-ton steel bridge deck is anchored with 24 steel cables equipped with anti-vibration dampers to avoid torsion. The cables are attached to a central pylon that provide optimal stability. M-shaped supports under the entrance bridges further enforce the structure’s foundation, and LED lighting was installed on the bridge’s railing to illuminate the deck and increase visibility for nighttime riders. Praised for its high quality design and engineering, the new cycling infrastructure is secure, easily accessible and well-lit, providing a confluent travel experience for bicyclists.
Meant to be as much a safety venture as it is a new landmark for the growing area, the Hovenring has become one of the most respected cycle bridges since its inauguration in June of 2012. In fact, the forward-thinking urban design was recently named finalist in the 2013 Dutch Design Awards.
Via Bicycle Dutch
Images ©IPV Deflt