In Indre, the two banks of the Creuse valley now linked by the Himalayan gateway

It will be the hit of the summer. While the joint association of Lake Éguzon and its valley did not expect such a celebration so soon, the Himalayan footbridge which now spans the Creuse, from Montcocu beach, in Baraize, to the Châteaubrun lodge, in Cuzion , arrived like a gift from heaven.

Partly motivated by the passage of the Olympic flame on May 27, the construction of this 151-meter structure is the result of a joint project costing €1,086,753, financed largely by the State. (€270,000), the Centre-Val de Loire Region (€199,000) and the Department of Indre (€400,000).

Bring people by sparking curiosity

An unprecedented junction between the municipalities of Baraize and Cuzion, it will undoubtedly attract a lot of people in the months to come, and its inauguration, Monday May 13, helped to underline its interest.

Initially, the mayor of Baraize, Lionnel Perrot, recalled the desire of the joint union to set up an original activity to boost tourism and bring economic benefits to the valley. “We initially considered installing a zip line, but the idea was then to create something accessible to everyone, which would bring people in while arousing curiosity. » A study began in July 2022 and the file was able to materialize by taking into account the constraints linked to a Natura 2000 classified site and the proximity of the Châteaubrun fortress.

As emphasized by the architect Charlotte Lebbe, from the Parisian firm AEI, in charge of the project, the challenge was to design a light, transparent and sober structure, well integrated into the landscape.

The footbridge is 151 meters long.
© (Photo NR, Thierry Roulliaud)

The crossing of the footbridge, carried out during the inauguration by a huge line of guests which occupied its entire length, gave a glimpse of the sensations promised to its users. When it is very busy, it sways, and the less bold cling to the guardrails.

Two sculptures by Didier Fauguet

On the other bank, the mayor of Cuzion, André Guilbaud, expressed his great happiness, his pride in inaugurating this work, embellished with two sculptures made by the art craftsman from Saint-Plantaire, and Meilleur Ouvrier from France, Didier Fauguet.

The president of the Department, Marc Fleuret, spoke of a new link between two sites formerly linked by a lock. He mentioned a structuring project for tourism, and in particular for hiking by allowing a shorter loop.

Two sculptures were created by the art craftsman from Saint-Plantaire, and Meilleur Ouvrier de France, Didier Fauguet
© (Photo NR, Thierry Roulliaud)

Regional advisor Dominique Roullet did not forget to point out that this is the only Himalayan gateway built within the framework of a Country Contract, “which could give desire to other territories. » The final word went to the district sub-prefect, Nadine Chaïb, who praised “a unique, unusual structure, set in a green setting” and which symbolizes the marriage between the Creuse valley, immortalized by famous painters and the hand of man. The footbridge will increase homelessness in this area.

There is no doubt that beyond the long-awaited passage of the Olympic flame, the structure will be heavily used by pedestrians and cyclists. The new challenge is certainly to make Montcocu beach more accessible, which is reached by a narrow road and a 12% slope.

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