Proposed bicyle and pedestrian bridge
The bicycle lanes and sidewalks on the N60 are no longer adapted to the daily stream of pupils, students, and staff that need to be in the neighbourhood of the Tech Lane Ghent Science Park, Campus Ardoyen. Cyclists on the bike lanes have priority over the cars entering and leaving the motorway. This leads to dangerous conflicts between pedestrians, cyclists, cars and trucks.
Given the fact that, next to the further development of the science park, the faculty of Engineering and Architecture of Ghent University wants to bring its students to the campus by 2026, and that most students will come by bike, this will lead to a complete standstill of the car traffic around the campus during rush hour (possibly including 1-2 km of traffic jam on the R4).
The university has proposed a simple but effective solution to overcome this problem: the creation of a parallel bicycle and pedestrian bridge east of the N60 bridge. This complementary bridge would directly connect the Tech Lane Ghent Science Park with the campus of the Sint-Paulusinstituut across the Ringvaart, and connect with a wide bidirectional bike lane leading to the underpass at the Sterre. On the south side, it would connect to the future tunnel under the ovonde at the N60. This bridge/tunnel/bike lane would completely separate the cyclists and pedestrians from the motorized traffic on the N60. This would lead to a much safer commuting path to the train station and to the city center for cyclists, and to a conflict free junction between the N60 and the R4 for the motorized traffic.
The bridge has already been given the name Magnelbrug after the famous Ghent University professor who was an expert in reinforced concrete and prestressed concrete (from which many bridges are made today). He founded the Magnel laboratory in 1926. Let’s celebrate the 100th anniversary of the lab with a bridge named after this pioneer of the 20th century.