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    The Porte de Hal tunnel reopened to traffic on 3 July

    © Belga
    © Belga

    The Porte de Hal tunnel will only be reopened to traffic on 3 July, instead of 28 June as originally scheduled, Brussels-based Minister of Mobility Pascal Smet said on Friday during a visit to the site. This delay is justified by the discovery of cracks in the roof of the metro infrastructure. The whole of what made up the inside of the tunnel was removed, the journalists said during a press visit.

    During the works, small cracks were uncovered in the roof of the subway infrastructure. Concrete repairs and leakage checks are underway, as is paving and coating work of the pavement, explained Pascal Smet. “The objective was to carry out a thorough renovation”, he said, adding that the most stringent safety standards had been applied, including the addition of two emergency exits.

    Specific attention will be given to the design at a later stage and an architect will be appointed with the task of giving the structure a more modern look, said the minister.

    The cracks discovered during the deasphalting process required the postponenent of the reopening of the tunnel by five days. “The slab was very damaged and equalisation work had to be carried out,” said the head of Eiffage, the company in charge of the site.

    It mobilises up to 50 workers. “We are working at full speed because all the civil works have to be completed for the beginning of the Foire du Midi” on 15 July, explained the official.

    Traffic in the tunnel will therefore resume on 3 July, but with only one lane in each direction instead of two. From April 2018 to January 2019, the tunnel will be closed at night.

    Maria Novak
    The Brussels Times