English News

  • youtube
  • facebook
  • twitter

World’s longest tunnel built only for cyclists and walkers opened in Norway

The pedestrian lane has blue rubber flooring to make walking comfortable and less strained (Pics. Courtesy Twitter/@gecko39)

Top class highways and expressways being built world over often make headlines but it is rare for a dedicated road and tunnel meant exclusively for cyclists and pedestrians to be talked about. This 2.90-kilometre-long tunnel in Norway’s Bergen which is out of bounds for cars was inaugurated last week and has been christened as Fyllingsdalstunnelen.

As per a smithsonianmag.com report this tunnel is likely to be the longest in the world built specifically for cycling and walking was constructed at a cost of 29 million dollars and took four years to make. It will reduce the commuting time by several times and encourage people to cycle instead of using cars.

The tunnel links the city centre of Bergen with Fyllingsdalen, a residential area and has separate pathways for cyclists and walkers. On a bicycle it takes about 10 minutes to traverse the entire distance while those who prefer walking will take 40 minutes. To make walking comfortable and less strained, the pedestrian lane has blue rubber flooring instead of bare asphalt.

Bergen Tunnel2
As there are no windows in the tunnel, a variety of colourful murals and art installations adorn it giving it an aesthetic look

The tunnel is bereft of windows as it runs through Løvstakken mountain base. To provide beauty and aesthetic touch, a large variety of colourful murals, lighting design and art installations have been put up throughout the route. There is a sundial at the tunnel’s midpoint which shows the cyclists and walkers the time.

With a view to ensure safety and security of the users of the tunnel, security cameras have been put up while there are emergency phones too to enable them to seek immediate help. To make commuting easy and comfortable, the tunnel is heated and it has rest stops at regular intervals.

The concept of the tunnel for walkers and cyclists came into being when a new light rail tram line was being planned for the area. Since the designers of the project had to construct a parallel tunnel for evacuations during emergency situations, they thought why not use this tunnel for double purpose.

The project funded by Miljøløftet which in English translates to “the environmental promise” is a government-run initiative directed at reducing the dependence of residents on vehicles and to make them switch to “environmentally friendly, efficient and safe transport system”.

Bergen is Norway’s second largest city and is surrounded with seven mountains and one of them is Løvstakken It is also home to a UNESCO heritage site – Bryggen, the historic wharf neighbourhood.