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10 years of traffic disturbance on the Grand Ring around Brussels: In Zaventem, traffic has to travel through 3 narrow lanes at all times

10 years of traffic disturbance on the Grand Ring around Brussels: In Zaventem, traffic has to travel through 3 narrow lanes at all times

Hector Henneaulaan’s current bridge over the ring in Zaventem near malls is completely worn out. It will be replaced by two new bridges. The old bridge is not only old but it also does not provide any space for public transport and cyclists. In addition to car lanes, the new bridges will also have wide bike lanes, separate bus lanes, and even so-called ecological lanes for animals that migrate between green areas to the left and right of the ring road.

View of the new Zaventem-Henneaulaan complex.  The bridge will be much wider, even with a green area for animals to pass

First there will be a new bridge. When it is ready, traffic can pass over it and contractors will demolish the existing bridge. Then they built a second building across the loop on the site of the Old Bridge. That means work through 2024 and contractors need space to do so. That is why traffic on the Ring Road must lose space: for three years, you will have to ride a car and truck over narrow lanes.

Watch the “Lat Journal” report here and read the following video:

Traffic jams are expected tonight and also starting Monday

In a place where there are already traffic jams everyday, this will cause problems on Ring and on Leuven’s E40. Tonight and night, contractors will mark narrow lanes with typical yellow paint.

Anyone who goes out late at night was warned: There will be traffic jams

Hajo Beckmann, VRT Traffic Editor

From Saturday, everyone will drive down narrow lanes. Then, a real stress test will follow Monday during the first morning rush hour. Please note: From a week-long Saturday, narrow lanes run along the right-hand side of the circuit because contractors work in central custody. Within a week, everything will move to the left so that the right side of the road can be addressed: abutments for new bridges must be built there.

The Zaventem-Henneaulaan regeneration is a harbinger of a complete ring redesign: a nuisance even after 2030

The main purpose of working at Zaventem-Henneaulaan is to make connections for cyclists and buses between Vlaamse Rand and Brussels faster and safer. Buses today are part of traffic jams and cyclists risk their lives when they cross the bridge. However, there will also be new entrances and exits for the ring road and these already take into account future plans for the ring itself: according to the Flemish government, adaptation work there will begin in 2024 for local separation and cross-traffic in some places so that there is only a slightly larger capacity on the road. Express around the capital, but accidents can also be avoided.

Our reporter Helen Goedgebeur gives in “Laat journaal” a case from Zaventem (read below the video):

The work is also accompanied by a complete diversion of the nearby Zaventem Junction, which connects Ring with the A201 between the airport and Brussels.

Marine StruveA spokesperson for De Werkvennootschap, the agency that oversees all business on the Ring, says to the Flemish government: “Once work is complete at Zaventem-Henneaulaan, we may have already started at the intersection itself. Then we will rebuild the ring. So motorists will have to take into account. Narrow lanes and changing traffic situations for at least a decade. “

Not only investments in traffic lanes: more space will be given for bicycles, buses and trams, as well as in Zaventem

Zaventem-Henneaulaan is not only a harbinger of a new episode, but it also shows that the Flemish government is preparing a paradigm shift in the region: the Flemish Ocean and Brussels are still relatively weakly connected to bicycles and public transport. De Werkvennootschap is currently building several bike highways that will connect with Brussels’ cycling routes. There will also be express trams from Willebroek to Heysel via the A12 and free bus lanes on other links.

Cyclists and pedestrians will have ample space on the new bridges over Circuit (c) De Werkvennootschap

The new design of the double bridges in Zaventem-Henneaulaan is part of this: “The bridge will be twice as wide and will provide space for all road users to move smoothly and safely. Thanks to the fully protected cycle path, cycling on the future bridge will be fun soon. Pedestrians will also have their own bar, surrounded by With green spaces. In this wide green strip, the ecological corridor, animals move freely. Separate lanes designated for public transport in both directions, “adds the Minister of Mobility Lydia Peters Toe.

Create a green environment

According to Peters, the project in Zaventem-Henneaulaan also stimulates better harmony between the ring and neighboring nature. There are valuable green areas on either side of the ring. These fragmented areas are being developed and made available to locals and employees in commercial complexes adjacent to the Ring Road.

A broader view from a bird's perspective of the new complex (c) De Werkvennootschap

Building a new bridge over the track is complex and will take several years. In order to obstruct the traffic as little as possible and not for long periods, we are working in various stages. Marijn Struyf: “We build the new bridge on site, next to the highway. When the first half of the bridge is ready, we put it on the old bridge. From then on, traffic will drive to Henneaulaan on the new half of the bridge. Then we demolish and replace the old bridge. In the second part of the new bridge. Finally, we will merge both sections of the bridge into one new bridge.

View of the new complex, when you come from Woluwelaan (c) De Werkvennootschap

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