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Further study is needed to determine exactly what the bridge will look like, when construction will start and when the bridge will be ready.

The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, the province of Utrecht and the municipality of Stichtse Vecht have reached agreement on the construction of a bicycle bridge over the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal between Nieuwer Ter Aa and Breukelen. The bicycle bridge will eventually replace the ferry. The starting point is to keep the ferry in service for the time being. There has been talk for some time about taking the ferry out of service because of the nautical safety risks it poses on the canal. The province and municipality have worked hard to preserve the ferry and are happy with this solution.

“I am pleased that we have agreed on a bicycle bridge between Nieuwer Ter Aa and Breukelen. This offers prospects for the future for the people who are now dependent on the ferry. For the short term, we are looking at whether the ferry can continue to sail for the time being. The main thing for me is that this must be done safely, and I rely on the judgment of the experts.”

Structural solution

There is a shared view that the structural solution should be a bicycle bridge. The national government contributes a maximum of €20 million to the bicycle bridge, while the province and the municipality are responsible for the other costs and any overruns. Further study is needed to determine exactly what the bridge will look like, when construction will start and when the bridge will be ready. The province has offered to take ownership of the bridge, including its management and maintenance. The parties involved have yet to make a formal decision on this. 

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“The municipality and action committee have worked hard together, but thanks to all these efforts, there is now a good result. We are happy with that. There will be a fully-fledged bicycle bridge, with which Nieuwer Ter Aa will maintain a good connection. And the ferry will remain in service for the time being. Very good news for the residents.”

Additional security research

The bridge was not completed in 1 day. That is why the parties have also discussed the temporary solution. Research institute MARIN, which previously conducted safety research, will look into possible additional measures to keep the ferry in service safely for as long as possible. Whether this is possible also depends on whether sufficient qualified personnel is available. If, despite all efforts, this does not work out, the Ministry is prepared to arrange replacement transport. Once the results of the investigation are known, the national government and the region will discuss the follow-up again, according to the National government

“The bicycle bridge is a great result of a period of intensive consultation between all parties. This connection over the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal is first and foremost of great importance to the inhabitants of Nieuwer Ter Aa, but also has an important function in the regional and recreational cycling network. This way we can continue to encourage people to use the bicycle.”

Photo above: Adrie Oosterwijk/Shutterstock.com

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