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The longest bicycle bridge in Europe is made of wood

The Pieter Smit bridge, located between Winschoten and Blauwestad in the province Groningen in the Netherlands is a 800 metre (2,625 ft) long bridge and is mostly made of FSC certified wood.

Opened quietly on 1 February, the bridge connects the cities of Winschoten and Blauwestad, crossing the water of the Winschoterdiep and Oldambtmeer, the A7 motorway, and an ecological zone. Cyclists and pedestrians can access and leave the bridge in three places.

The 3.5 m (11.5 ft) wide bridge consists of four combined bridges. It connects the city with nature reserves and was designed not to interfere with nature. The bridge is mostly constructed of FSC certified tropical hard wood and lit by energy efficient LED lights that do not affect animals.

The bridge crosses the flight path of bats, which is why in several strategic places trees have been planted so that bats can cross the bridge safely to reach hunting zones on the other side.

Below the bridge, several nest boxes for birds have been installed. At the foot of the bridge on the Blauwestad side, a sand wall was placed, where sand martins can build their nests.

Images: Blauwestad