Road works on 38 places on Flemish motorways will disrupt traffic in 2020
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    Road works on 38 places on Flemish motorways will disrupt traffic in 2020

    The 38 motorway works combined account for 81.6 kilometres of renewed road surface. Credit: Belga

    Road works will take place at 38 places on the Flemish motorways in 2020, which is considerably more than in previous years.

    The works will cause a lot of traffic nuisance, according to Lydia Peeters, the Flemish Minister for Mobility, “but the investments are necessary,” she added, reports Het Nieuwsblad.

    “The mobility challenges we face are both socially and economically urgent,” said Peeters. “Investments in the maintenance of the road network, together with targeted investments in the expansion of capacity, are necessary to achieve smooth and safe traffic,” she added.

    The 38 motorway works combined account for 81.6 kilometres of renewed road surface, and 20 kilometres of noise barriers, reports VRT.

    The works that will cause the most traffic disruptions are those on the viaduct in Wilsele on the E314 motorway, the remediation of the viaduct on the E17 in Gentbrugge, the reconstruction of the R4 ring-road between Melle and Merelbeke towards Zelzate, and the installation of noise barriers along the E313 in Borgerhout.

    The map detailing all the road work sites in Flanders in 2020. Credit: Agentschap Wegen en Verkeer

    The works on the Oosterweel link on the R1 ring-road in Antwerp, which have already started, will also cause additional nuisance from summer 2020 onwards, as two bicycle bridges will be built towards the end of the year.

    “Every minute we spend in traffic jams is either an economic loss or a loss of our scarce free time,” said Peeters. “These new motorways will also cause the inevitable traffic disruptions. That’s why we are trying to keep the period of inconvenience as short as possible through consultation with various partners and a tight schedule,” she added, reports De Standaard.

    The Minister also called for “absolute respect” for the traffic signalling the associated speed reductions, as figures from VIAS, the Belgian Institute for Traffic Safety, show that the number of accidents at road work sites has increased by 19% since 2014. About 70% of Belgian drivers forget to slow down when driving past a road work site, according to a European study, making it the worst country in Europe, reports Het Nieuwsblad.

    “We often forget, but people are working at these sites. They risk their lives to improve traffic safety and flow,” said Peeters.

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times