From 1 May, Brussels Mobility will renovate the Leopold II Tunnel. Punctuated by periods of limited closure, the works will end in 2021.
After applying for a planning permit in December 2016 and having obtained the permit in July 2017, Brussels Mobility will start the renovation of the Leopold II tunnel as from 1 May 2018. Dating from 1986, the tunnel will have to undergo several phases of renovation. . The first step of the work is to dismantle it. Then the next steps will be on the roof, side panels and roads. Brussels Mobility wants to install new emergency exits, more modern security infrastructures and a surveillance camera. The aesthetics of the tunnel will also be reworked, especially with the help of LED lighting that will differentiate the part of the tunnel located under the Canal and that below the park. The end of the work is scheduled for 2021.
The closing periods of the tunnel:
During the day and during a large part of the works, Brussels Mobility decided to keep the tunnel open. However, the works will be punctuated by periods of closure of the tunnel: the months of July and August for 3 consecutive years (2018,2019 and 2020) and the nights from Sunday to Thursday inclusive.
The impacts of the renovation of the Leopold II tunnel
Given the geographical location of the Leopold II tunnel, many repercussions are expected on the territory of the City of Brussels as well as the municipalities of Molenbeek-Saint-Jean, Koekelberg and Ganshoren. Avenue Charles V, the surroundings of Elisabeth Park, the Basilica of Koekelberg and traffic entering and leaving the capital will be particularly impacted by the site.
Alternatives for getting around the capital
By car :
For the sake of traffic fluidity, access to Avenue Charles V will be limited to one band and signage will be adapted. Facilities are also provided for motorcycles and rescue services.
In the vicinity of Elisabeth Park and the Basilica of Koekelberg, traffic will be one-way during the two summer months. By September, the situation will return to normal.
For the traffic entering the capital, deviations will be put in place via the A12 to go to the North of Brussels and via the Industrial Boulevard to go to the South of Brussels.
To leave the capital, road users are advised to use the Ninove road.
On his website, Pascal Smet, the Brussels Minister of Mobility and Public Works advises users to ride or bike to get around.
By public transport:
In order to encourage commuters to adapt their travel to and in Brussels, STIB, Lijn and SNCB will increase their offer during the summer. The capacity and frequency of trains, trams, buses and metro will be revised upwards.
During the summer, the traffic centers will monitor the situation and re-evaluate the measures if necessary. After the summer period, an evaluation is planned in collaboration with the municipalities and the Flemish Region.
If you wish to know more, four information meetings are organized by Brussels Mobility. They will run from April 23 to April 26 inclusive. Click here to access practical information about these information meetings.
Sources: Brussels Mobility & BX1