The historic railway bridge Pont du Jubilé will be jointly renovated by the Brussels Region and the Belgian Railway Company (SNCB), after which it will become the property of the Brussels Region.
“Pont du Jubilé is a protected monument and part of Brussels’ heritage,” said Elke Van den Brandt, Minister of Mobility and Road Safety.
“Brussels Mobility will take its responsibility to take care of the bridge’s maintenance. In this way, we will also ensure the safety of cyclists and pedestrians who want to enjoy the magnificent park under the bridge.”
The bridge has high heritage value, but is in poor condition.
“Seeing Pont du Jubilé in this condition saddens me every time,” said Pascal Smet, Brussels State Secretary for Urbanism and Heritage, who bemoaned that the process of getting the renovation underway had been “dragging on for years.”
“We are going to make the bridge beautiful again. It will be another landmark on the Tour & Taxis site.”
The renovation will be managed and financed jointly by Urban.brussels and SNCB, and is expected to cost €8 million – a price which the two entities are splitting in half.
Upon completion of the project, the ownership of the bridge will be transferred to the Brussels Region for the symbolic price of one euro.
“The SNCB is delighted with the agreement with the Brussels-Capital Region to integrate Pont du Jubilé permanently in the capital’s heritage,” said Patrice Couchard, Director of Stations for the SNCB.
“This railway bridge is indeed a tribute to the role that the SNCB has played in the mobility of the capital for more than 100 years. Today, this is reflected in a fully sustainable transport offer.”
After the renovation is complete and the bridge becomes operational, Brussels Mobility will be responsible for maintenance, as well as in charge of the bridge’s management.
Image from the office of Pascal Smet.
The Belgian State Railways built the bridge, which was previously called “Le Pont Monumental,” over a hundred years ago in 1904 during the construction of Boulevard du Jubilé and Boulevard Émile Bockstael.
The goal was to bridge the railway lines leaving from Tour & Taxis.
Pont du Jubilé, as it’s called now, has a central span of 41 metres and was listed as a monument by the government of the Brussels-Capital Region in 2007.
The bridge is supported by two abutments and multiple polygonal bluestone pillars, decorated on either side by monumental columns in polished granite, with bluestone bases and heads.
The bridge originally had wrought-iron lanterns in Art Nouveau style which were attached to the pillars. A metal parapet has since replaced the original wrought-iron balustrade decorated with Art-Nouveau motifs.
As part of the renovation, a contemporary solution that suits the bridge’s character will be sought.
The tracks on the Tour & Taxis site were removed in 2001, and the land under the bridge was sold in 2008.
That land is now part of a park that stretches from Avenue du Port to Place Emile Bockstael.