This weekend, major works will be carried out on the Antwerp circuit towards the Netherlands. The bridge joint on Merksem Bridge is in poor condition and badly in need of repair. Between the Deurne and Merksem exits, traffic must pass over one lane. The Liefkenshoek Tunnel is now free.
Last week, the Roads and Traffic Agency (AWV) determined that one of the bridge joints on the Merksem Bridge towards the Netherlands had suffered severe damage. To prevent further damage, it was decided already at the end of last week to introduce a speed limit of 50 km / h on the bridge.
However, many drivers did not adhere to the speed limits. A new examination showed that the damage to the bridge joint had worsened. An emergency repair was already made on Wednesday, to bring the time up to the end of the week. During these works, there was only one lane available for an hour, which resulted in a long traffic jam.
The final fix will be done at the end of this week. From Saturday 6am until Sunday evening, three lanes will be closed again in the direction of Holland. So traffic must pass through the construction area again on one lane.
So the traffic center warns of serious inconvenience. Maybe even as early as 7 in the morning. The Merksem Bridge is one of the busiest highways in Belgium. “In that location, one lane is absolutely insufficient to allow all traffic to pass,” said spokesman Peter Bruinincks of the Flemish Traffic Centre.
On an average Saturday in 2019, the last coronavirus-free year, 76,000 vehicles drove over the bridge towards the Netherlands. On Sunday, that rate was slightly lower, with 68,000 vehicles. “In any case, the works will lead to traffic jams, not only on the Antwerp circuit, but possibly also on upcoming motorways such as the E17, E19, A12 and E313,” Bruyninckx says.
This is why the traffic center strongly advises you to avoid the circuit towards Holland and drive through the northern part of the circuit towards Holland. The Liefkenshoek Tunnel has already been made free. There will be no work on the loop in the direction of Ghent and all lanes will remain available.
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