The cycle bridge near Berlicum was opened in December 2016. It shortened the ride to Den Dungen, but it didn’t really connect both villages very well yet. A strange detour had to be made around some fields. That has now been remedied with a new cycle path across those fields. But there is always something to be desired.
Already in the planning phase of the cycle bridge it became clear that just building the bridge would not be enough to connect Berlicum and Den Dungen better, two villages in the same municipality of Sint-Michielsgestel. I wrote about this in my blog post when the bridge was opened. The distance had been reduced by building a bridge over the canal that had been a barrier between the two villages for almost 200 years. The route was shortened by 600 metres, which made the new distance 4.7 kilometres, where it had been 5.3 kilometres before. Still a long way when you consider the distance between the villages is only 2.3 kilometres as the bird flies. When you look at the map it becomes clear that with a new shortcut across some fields that distance could be reduced considerably more. Unfortunately, at the most logical place to build it, the location where most would be gained, is the location of two houses. On top of that, the route from those houses to the bridge ramp entrance would cut through the middle of three fields. Meaning it would go through people’s home gardens and it would render three fields less usable. That made the most logical route not the most preferable route. About 375 metres to the east, a route could be chosen that follows the border of three other fields. Meaning just a narrow strip on the edge of that land would have to be purchased from the respective owners. There was also already a recreational walking route there on the grass, so the land already had some double use. This means that, although the route could have been shorted by another 750 metres, it does make sense that this particular location was chosen. If only the access ramp to the bridge would have been designed differently! That access ramp now goes straight north-west, in the direction of ʼs-Hertogenbosch. This means that anyone coming from the south-east, including from the new cycle shortcut, must ride all the way to the beginning and ride the entire length of the ramp twice. I sincerely hope that a second ramp in the direction of the south, to Den Dungen could be built in future. That would shorten the distance between Berlicum and Den Dungen by several hundred metres again and for cycling that really does matter.