World’s longest purpose-built biking tunnel opens in Norway


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There are lots of methods to discover the seven mountains that encompass the picturesque UNESCO World Heritage metropolis of Bergen on Norway’s fjord-studded west coast. The most recent, nevertheless, would possibly effectively be record-breaking.

A 3-kilometer-long (1.8-mile) biking and pedestrian tunnel has been blasted via the bottom of Løvstakken mountain and its makers say it’s the longest purpose-built tunnel of its type.

Fyllingsdalstunnelen, because it’s recognized, opened on April 15 with a household day of sporting actions, following 4 years of building that started in February 2019. The state-funded mega-project price near $29 million, or 300 million Norwegian kroner.

“We Norwegians are normally modest individuals,” Camilla Einarsen Heggernes, a spokesperson for rail firm Bybanen Utbygging, tells CNN, “However on this occasion we’d say that the tunnel is 100% cutting-edge.”

When you see this sundial, you'll know you're halfway through.

It takes slightly underneath 10 minutes to whizz via the tunnel by bike and round 40 if strolling by foot. To interrupt up the monotony of the windowless tunnel, there are a selection of artwork installations all through, in addition to totally different colours and lighting to assist customers place the place they’re on the journey and provide a way of path.

On the heart level is a “sundial” set up – the place the solar positively won’t ever shine – which reveals the time of day, once more serving to to orientate guests and likewise to interrupt up the in any other case lengthy line of sight. The tunnel is in any other case completely straight, aside from slight curvatures at entrance and exit.

For those who’re questioning how cyclists and pedestrians can use the identical house, there are two lanes within the tunnel: a 3.5-meter vast bike lane and a 2.5-meter-wide lane for walkers and runners. “We now have laid down a blue rubber flooring all through the tunnel, just like an athletic observe, explains Einarsen Heggernes. “This makes it extra nice to make use of than if one would simply stroll on asphalt.”

The tunnel was constructed in parallel with a new tram line.

The brand new tunnel took place as a byproduct of Bergen’s second Bybanen tram line, which opened in November 2022. The tram line via the mountain required a parallel evacuation tunnel, so the builders determined to make the brand new tunnel multipurpose.

Bergen is Norway’s second-largest metropolis and the port metropolis is linked to Oslo, the Norwegian capital, by the 496-kilometer Bergensbanen railway line. This gorgeous rail journey crosses Europe’s largest excessive mountain plateau, the Hardangervidda, and its snow-clad vistas have been the backdrop for the battle scenes within the “Star Wars” sequel “The Empire Strikes Again.”

Whereas the Fyllingsdalstunnelen is pitching itself because the world’s longest purpose-built cycle tunnel, the rationale for that caveat is the three.6-kilometer-long Snoqualmie Tunnel in Washington, simply east of Seattle. This former prepare tunnel is now a passageway for cyclists, runners and walkers and is a part of the 250-mile Palouse to Cascades State Park Path.

Six European cities made it in CNN Journey’s current roundup of 10 of the world’s most bike-friendly cities. Copenhagen has 385 kilometers of motorbike lanes, having launched its first a technique again in 1892. Strasbourg in France has round 6,000 bikes obtainable at self-service stations 24/7 which vacationers can use. And the Swiss capital of Bern has a exhilarating downhill path for riders who really feel the necessity for velocity. The most effective bit is that cyclists can get a funicular as much as the highest then experience down – no uphill battle.


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