Image credit: Iver Daaland Åse/Bybanen Utbygging
The city of Bergen in Norway’s southeast is set to cut the ribbon on a striking example of dedicated bike infrastructure, one that slices right through a mountain for improved access to the downtown area.
Called the Fyllingsdalstunnelen, the tunnel spans 2.9km and will become the longest-purpose-built bike and pedestrian tunnel in the world when it swings into action in mid-April. The pedestrian lane is 3m wide and the bike lane is 4.25m.
The tunnel connects the residential areas of Fyllingsdalen and Mindemyren in Bergen, and links up with other bike routes for easy travel north and south.
At Mindemyren, the tunnel connects with a key cycle route with separated bike lanes and the newly constructed 475-metre Kronstad tunnel, which is also closed to cars and takes bike riders and pedestrians to the city centre.
The Fyllingsdalstunnelen takes 8 to 10 minutes to ride through and about 36 minutes to walk. For those needing a rest, there are benches made from stone carved out of the mountain. Lights and art installations give the bare tunnel walls some character and a large sundial in the centre reflects the time of day.
The project is designed to offer an attractive alternative to car travel in Bergen, and significant consideration is given to safety.
There will be security cameras in operation and emergency phones and loudspeakers are located every 250 meters.
The tunnel will also be closed between 11:30pm and 5:30am each night for safety reasons for an initial trial period.
The Fyllingsdalstunnelen will be fitted with smoke detectors and emergency vehicles will have clear access.
An opening ceremony is set for April 15, which will include ribbon-cutting at both the Fyllingsdalstunnelen and Kronstad tunnels, tricycle races and a bike parade along the new route into the Bergen city centre. The entire journey is 7.8 km and takes around 25 minutes by bike.