Netherlands’ largest-ever underwater bicycle complex unveiled in Amsterdam for the city’s 900,000 cyclists

Cyclers in Amsterdam will soon be able to access the newly-built underwater bicycle-parking complex, which will provide a big relief to the residents of the cycling-mad capital of the Netherlands. The complex is built beneath the Open Haven Front, an access tributary to the city’s IJ River. The complex can take in 7,000 bicycles. Another such shelter will be opened for the public in February, which is being built next to the IJ itself. The IJ-side site will be able to accommodate 4,000 bicycles, taking the combined capacity to 11,000 bicycles.

The construction of the project started in 2019, and the engineers had to drain part of the Open Haven Front next to Amsterdam Central Station. Amsterdam municipality released a time-lapse video of the construction site which showed how the water was pumped out of the Open Haven Front to build the structure and was later reflooded.

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Dutch deputy infrastructure minister Vivianne Heijnen was quoted by the media as saying that the project made optimal use of the limited space available in the tiny nation. “We have a lot of knowledge and expertise when it comes to water,” the minister added.

According to wUrck, the architectural firm that designed the complex, conveyer belts will be used to take cyclists 9 meters below ground level. The firm said in a statement, “The cyclist steps into an imaginary oyster with a rough exterior of basalt and natural stone and a smooth, light interior.” Amsterdam’s alderwoman Melanie van der Horst expressed her pleasure over the development by saying that people will now be able to park their bicycles immediately after arriving at Amsterdam station.

Amsterdam is a city of bicycle-loving people, with almost 600,000 bicycle trips made daily. There are a total of 900,000 cyclists in the Dutch capital. Thus, finding a proper parking space is always a constant pain in the neck for the residents of the city.

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