Work on the renovation of the Leopold II tunnel in Brussels, the longest road tunnel in Belgium, will start on the 1st of May. The Brussels Region will do a complete renovation of the tunnel: ventilation, emergency exits, resurfacing, sidewalks, lighting, signaling, asbestos removal, etc. The project was awarded to the Circul 20 Consortium (comprising the Besix Group, Jan De Nul and Engie Fabricom) which will then be in charge of the maintenance of the tunnel for 25 years.
The Region will spend 462.6 million euros on the project – 264.7 million for the renovation itself and 4.5 million in financing costs.
During the school term, the tunnel will be closed only at night – between 10 p.m. and 06.00 a.m. but in July and August, it will be completely closed to traffic.
Alternatives will be offered to commuters who usually use the tunnel. According to the Brussels Mobility Department, an average of 80,000 vehicles use the tunnel daily. The frequency of trams and buses that serve the area will be increased. These are tramlines 19, 51 and 82, STIB bus lines 13, 14, 20, 48 and 87 and De Lijn bus lines 214 and 355.
There are also deviations for drivers – through the industrial boulevard in Anderlecht, the Ninoveh Road in Molenbeek and the A12 in Laeken.
Avenue Charles V, located between the arrival hall of the E40 Ostende-Bruxelles at Grand-Bigard and the Léopold II, will remain open to traffic, but the traffic lanes will be modified, and the Sainctelette Crossroad, close to the canal, will be transformed into a roundabout.
The tunnel will be totally closed for three successive summers, in 2018, 2019 and 2020, while the entire renovation work is scheduled to last 39 months.