On Friday, 7 July 2017, Henk Brink, a member of the Drenthe Provincial Executive and Bouke Arends, alderman in Emmen, gave the start signal for a pilot project for the first biocomposite cycle path in the Netherlands on Dordsestraat in Emmen. A unique project within the framework of the Dutch-German INTERREG VA project ‘Bio-Economy in the Non-Food Sector’. The cycle path has been produced from biocomposite and is recyclable. The pilot project focuses, amongst other things, on the construction methods, the life span, wear, cycling comfort, ecology and any change of colour.
Four tests in one
This unique cycle path is divided into four sections. Each section has a different composition of biocomposite and has a different top layer. Biocomposite is made from (wood) fibres and bio-resin. The life span of biocomposite is at least equal to that of concrete or steel. With this pilot project we will test the construction and the cycling comfort of the various top layers during the next 2 years. NHL Stenden University students will carry out various tests on the initiative of Green PAC.
The biocomposite cycle path has been developed in collaboration with German and Dutch entrepreneurs and knowledge institutions: Sweco Nederland, EVA-Optic, NHL Stenden University, Green PAC, Naftex en BG&M Bouw. The development is supported in terms of its organisation and financing by the European Union in the ‘INTERREG VA Deutschland-Nederland’ collaboration programme (e.g. by the Province of Drenthe, Lower Saxony and the Ministry of Economic Affairs), the Leisure Authority of Drenthe and the Municipality of Emmen. The main objectives of this programme are to increase the innovative strength and employment in the region. The materials for the cycle path are assembled in Emmen. Engineering firm Sweco is responsible for the construction of the Eco-Dynamic Cycle Path.
Plans for the future
The initiators expect more pilot projects to follow. The required knowledge is available in the region. There are, for example, application possibilities for fly-overs, cycle bridges and cycle passages through wetland nature areas. But replacement of the hardwood planks of pedestrian and cycle bridges also offers opportunities. The application of biocomposite in lamp posts is already at a more advanced stage. The first demonstration projects with both lamp posts and fixtures from biocomposite, are already being realized.
In the vicinity of this project there are also a few examples of biocomposite lamp posts working on the basis of ecodynamic lighting. Ecodynamic lighting makes use of LED and smart sensors to control the light intensity and colour.
More information about this project can be found here.