New bridge to alleviate traffic over the Ghent-Ostend canal
Thanks to the new design, it will spare the long waiting times to car and bus drivers, cyclists and pedestrians
- October 22, 2019 14:30
- Aseniya Dimitrova
The first vision of the new Steenbrugge bridge over the Ghent-Ostend canal was unveiled earlier this month. The well-considered preliminary design promises a smoother flow of traffic on water and on the road and enhanced visual experience in Bruges and Oostkamp.
The Bruges in Flanders region poses a major challenge for inland shipping and with changing mobility needs, it is more than ever needed to adapt waterways. That is why De Vlaamse Waterweg nv, the city of Bruges, the municipality of Oostkamp, the Agency for Roads and Traffic and De Lijn started working together on a future vision for the Steenbrugge bridge that reconciles the needs of inland shipping and road traffic.
The road bridge will be fitted with a slender road surface and open ramps, which creates space and opportunities for the rehabilitation of the zone around the bridge. Between Bruges and Oostkamp there will be a high, fixed girder bridge equipped with a separate bus lane that will reduce waiting times for road traffic.
The new bridge will be in the same place as the existing one. This way, the surrounding space will remain open to drivers to easily make the crossing at the usual speed. It will be seven meters high, with ships passing underneath. Cyclists and pedestrians will also get a flat, movable swing bridge to cross easily and safely. In addition, the car-free crossing will be linked to the De Groene Gordel cycle route.
The new vision of the Steenbrugge bridge over the the Ghent-Ostend canal © De Vlaamse Waterweg nv
For a safe passage for ships, the bend in the Ghent-Ostend canal will be made straight. This way, they will no longer have to perform difficult manoeuvres at a low speed.
In addition, there will be room for fauna and flora in the future, as well as a green meeting place for the neighbourhood. Furthermore, a lot of parking spaces will be made available between the canal and the intersection on the Meulestee.
Cooperation for improved transport at European, regional and local level
After the release of the preliminary vision, a final design will follow in 2020. Once it is ready, the contracting procedure will be open and only then can the work begin in earnest.
The new bridge and the bend adjustment in the canal are part of the Seine Scheldt Flanders project. With this inland shipping project, Europe and De Vlaamse Waterweg nv are investing in the future of transport via waterway. It reconciles the mobility needs of inland shipping with those of road traffic.
The 24.6 km long canal in Flanders, Belgium connects the North Sea to the Belgian interior, running between the cities of Ostend and Bruges.
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