There have been discussions between Infrabel and the city of Lier about the railway crossing at Lispersteenweg for a long time. “And there are several reasons for this. First, because the level intersection threatens to become increasingly crowded. For example, there is an increased demand for additional passenger trains that pass through this level, and at the same time the port of Antwerp aspires to double the share of freight rail transport by 2030,” says Alderman to Mobility and Public Space Bert Wollants (N-Netherlands). VA).
Only open during peak hours?
Of course we cannot be sure that this ambition will be fulfilled, but we must in any case take into account that the level crossing may be more closed. According to Infrabel, the level crossing was already closed for more than forty minutes per hour during rush hour. If it increases slightly, the level crossing will open soon only during peak hours,” Wallants predicts.
And so Infrabel finally thought it was time to investigate the feasibility of alternatives. To this end, it issued a public tender to prepare a commencement note to replace the railway crossing with more suitable alternatives. Infrabel itself is considering a bridge, tunnel or underpass for pedestrians and cyclists, but is open to other suggestions.
Very difficult choice
Not an easy task and probably a very difficult choice for Infrabel next. “There is really no perfect solution to this boundary junction,” admits local councilman Bert Walants. “This relates to the limited width at the level intersection, the limited distance from the Omleidingsvaart and the fact that this is a busy bicycle connection. This ensures that the possible solutions are limited.”
“In an initial stage, the city asked Infrabel to put in place all possible solutions for the level crossing, even if the negative effects were greater than the positive ones. It was important for the city not to leave any path out of the investigation. This resulted in different scenarios with a total of ten variables.”
Traffic Engineering Research
“It was also important to the city that Infrabel not alone investigate promising alternatives. We also wanted a broader external study of traffic engineering focusing on the effects on pedestrians, cyclists, public transport and other motorized transportation. After all, depending on the results, it appears that we too It needs a lot of accompanying action,” Bert Wolanz realizes.
Infrabel has not yet established a clear timing for when to perform the interventions resulting from this study. But Infrabel showed us that level intersection is high on our wish list for a solution. Of course, depending on the solution chosen, Infrabel will also have to determine the budgetary implications for it and when the solution is feasible.”
water sensitive areas
The city is pleased with the step Infrabel is now taking. We have wanted a solution to cross this level for a long time, because we have a slow but certain risk of ending up in a scenario where the level cross closes itself. At the same time, there is a certain concern about scenarios that may have a significant impact on the water-sensitive areas and the open space behind the Lispersteenweg”, conclude Aldermann-Bert and Lanz.
Consultations receiving the request will be given two years to deliver the proforma invoice.