The Loire by bike: the cycle-pedestrian bridges

The Loire à Vélo has become a benchmark for bicycle tourism. To cross the river, cyclists, pedestrians and motorists share access to around forty bridges along the route. Discover two structures on the Loire reserved for bicycles and pedestrians.

Blois: a new cycle-pedestrian bridge over the Loire

The Loir-et-Cher department plans to build a footbridge over the Loire near Blois accessible exclusively to soft mobility. It will connect the municipalities of Vineuil and La Chaussée-Saint-Victor. Following a competition launched in February 2020 and in which 28 architects participated, it was ultimately the project of Marc Mimram, French architect, which was selected.

A secure bridge on the bike route from Blois to Chambord  

This new structure, unveiled in March 2021 and which will see the light of day by 2025, will be built on the old piers of the dam and will allow you to go on foot, by bike and on horseback from the Loire Lake, south shore, to the Parc des Mées, north shore. The footbridge will therefore become a secure route for local residents and tourists wishing to walk along the Loire. This bridge will complete the tourist infrastructure of Loir-et-Cher, consolidate its tourist appeal and will be a catalyst for the Loire à Vélo. Indeed, the footbridge will allow cycle tourists leaving from Blois to reach Chambord, Cheverny and Chaumont-sur-Loire more easily without having to share the crossing of the bridge with vehicles.

Piles of the old Blois dam

A footbridge over the Loire in harmony with its environment

The 380 meter long and 4 meter wide footbridge was designed by the architect so that it is part of a sustainable development approach. It will therefore integrate into the Loire landscape while protecting the terns which nest on the central island. In order to offer users a breathtaking panorama of the royal river and to invite contemplation, two belvederes will be erected on either side of the structure and benches will decorate its entire length. Still in an eco-responsible approach, the footbridge will be equipped with automatically triggered lighting, which will reduce light pollution and electricity consumption.

A total cost of 14 million euros

This bridge, with a budget of 14 million euros including tax, is financed by four actors: the State which spends 3.8 million euros excluding tax, the Center Val de Loire Regional Council and the Departmental Council of Loir et Cher which each spend 2 .65 M€ excluding tax, and Agglopolys (community of agglomeration of Blois) which is responsible for 2.5 M€ excluding tax. The departmental council is the project owner and Agglopolys will ensure its maintenance.

The Saint Symphorien footbridge in Tours

The Blois cycle-pedestrian footbridge is not the first to see the light of day on the Loire. In fact, Tours already has this type of structure reserved exclusively for soft mobility. The Saint-Symphorien footbridge, also called “Pont de Fil”, was put into service in 1847 for the first time and was intended at the time to allow workers living in Faubourg Saint-Symphorien to reach the city center of Tours.

This structure, 350 meters long and 5.4 meters wide, today connects the Cathedral district to the Paul Bert district via Île Aucard. The footbridge is all the more popular as it is located both on the Loire à Vélo route and also on the Santiago de Compostela Pilgrimage Trail. This bridge has become the favorite place to admire the Loire and escape the bustle of downtown Tours.

To cycle on the Saint Symphorien footbridge and enjoy the beautiful view of the Loire, come and discover our stay Short cycling break in the vineyards of the Loire Valley. From the historic center of Tours on the right bank, return to the left bank in complete tranquility to explore the Vouvray wine route.

Emergence of new projects

Cycle-pedestrian bridges seem to have a promising future in large cities. They will increase their tourist attractiveness and improve the infrastructure reserved for soft mobility. Indeed, the capital of Tours plans to create a second footbridge to the west of the city in order to connect Fondettes-Saint-Cyr to La Riche. And on the Angers side, the Bouchemaine bridge will be equipped with a footbridge for pedestrians and cyclists in 2025.

The ferry: an original crossing of the Loire by bike

While waiting for the Blois footbridge, cyclists looking for tranquility and authenticity can go from one bank of the Loire to the other by boarding their bike on a traditional Loire navy boat.

A few kilometers east of Blois, the Sailors from the Port of Chambord offer connections between Montlivault, on the left bank, and Cour-sur-Loire, on the right bank. An experience possible every weekend from June to September, and from Tuesday to Sunday in July-August.

©Laurent Alvarez / ADT41

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