Construction work has officially started to connect Brussels Airport to the cycle highway F3 between Brussels and Leuven, with an aim to have the route finished by the start of 2021, the airport announced Tuesday.
The construction – expected to take four months – will cost approximately two million euros, of which 35% will be covered by Flanders and 35% by the Province of Flemish Brabant, with the remainder being financed by Brussels Airport.
Work started on the Heidestraat in Zaventem at a high level. The cycle route will run along the airport grounds to an area between the Nossegem and Zaventem train stations, where it will join the F3 highway. The 2km connection to the airport will take advantage of an old railway line, using it to form a base for the project.
Connection to the F3 route will allow riders to pass through the railway stations of Leuven, Herent, Veltem, Erps-Kwerps, Kortenberg, Nossegem and Zaventem, before branching off towards Woluwe-Saint-Etienne to enter the capital via cycle route 1b and Evere (behind the former NATO headquarters) and Schaerbeek.
Plans to build a cycle bridge over the Brussels Ring road will eventually allow riders to continue on the highway from Zaventem to Diegem. While preparatory work is currently taking place, the 800-meter long bridge is expected to be completed by the end of 2021 and will reduce the distance between Leuven and Brussels by three kilometres.
Under normal circumstances, 70,000 passengers and 24,000 employees commute to the airport every day, with the hope that this new route will encourage many to make the trip by bike.