Rue Neuve, the busiest commercial street in the capital, is to be given a facelift. The renovation work will start on Monday the 15th of October and will last approximately two years, Beliris and Brussels authorities said in a press release published on Friday. The work will cost more than 5 million euros.
Rue Neuve, which has an average of around 44,000 visitors a day, has not been renovated for 20 years. The pedestrian area is in bad condition and has to deal with issues such as degradation, competition from shopping centres in the outskirts of Brussels and mobility problems.
Both the main street and the side streets will be renovated. “The extension will free up Rue Neuve, which is currently completely chock-a-block, provide more stores and restaurants and revive the adjacent streets”, the press release says. The idea behind this massive project is to “win back the shoppers that have deserted the town centre”.
The materials used will be in-keeping with the historic town centre. It will be paved with identical 12 x 12 granite slabs and some will be covered with a brass plaque so the street will retain its prestigious character.
Particular attention will be paid to the rest areas, in particular Place du Finistère and Rue du Choux. Cars will be banned from Rue du Choux, which will become a square.
Finally, new lighting will make it feel safer and more like a neighbourhood. The work will be done in phases, to keep disruption for residents and retailers to a minimum.