The Suitcase Lady

Bicycling

June 11, 2019, 7:07 am

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Luxembourg City is the capital of the tiny but extremely wealthy country of Luxembourg. Perched above sheer rock cliffs, the city began as a fortified medieval town. A series of bridges and viaducts span the valleys beneath the city connecting it to the rest of the world. All of Luxembourg is a UNESCO heritage site.

One of the most spectacular entrances to the town is the 1903 Pont Adolphe bridge, a 501 feet long stone structure and a beloved historic landmark. When cracks were discovered in the bridge in 1996, plans were made to stabilize and widen it. Great care was taken to retain the historic look of the bridge. As part of the restoration process, all the stones creating the arches were numbered, removed and taken away for cleaning.  When the work was completed in 2016, the stones were put back in place like assembling a giant puzzle. The completed bridge has two one way traffic lanes and two tram lanes plus an award-winning new feature, bicycle and pedestrian lanes hung under the vehicular roadway.

The bike lanes are suspended between the arches and are described by architect Christian Bauer “like a well-controlled spider’s web, barely visible from the outside.” Architects have long looked to animals and plants for inspiration.

Since the bike path opened, riders and walkers have turned out en masse with great enthusiasm, too much enthusiasm, in fact. The Luxembourg Times reports that it is impossible to bike a straight line through the lanes. Too many riders are stopping to enjoy the incredible views framed by the arches. They can hardly be blamed.

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