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    Brussels centre pedestrianisation at halfway mark

    © Belga
    © Belga

    The transformation of the pedestrian walkways along the capital’s central boulevards is at the halfway mark. Work on De Brouckère Square will be completed by Spring 2019, while the renovation of the subway station, which had been delayed, will be finished, and the redesigning of the emblematic Stock Exchange Area will start in February, officials of the Brussels construction agency, Beliris, as well as Deputy Prime Minister Didier Reynders and Brussels Mayor Philippe Close indicated on Wednesday during a visit to the works.

    Road traffic has been banned since 29 June 2015 from Place De Brouckère to Rue Plattesteen, beyond the Stock Exchange. After many political and urbanistic twists and turns, the project to transform the road into a pedestrian zone, awarded to Beliris, started in September after a first phase of preparatory work to renew the developers’ equipment.

    A total of about 28 million euros has been budgeted for the facelift: 18 million from Beliris, six million from the City of Brussels and four million from the Brussels Government’s Mobility Department.

    The resurfacing of De Brouckère Square is in a very advanced phase. It is set to become a multifunctional space bounded by two roads for slow-moving traffic to enable access to and from stores and hotels, bars and restaurants.

    The area between Place De Brouckère and Rue Gretry, and then on to Rue du Marché aux Poulets was completed last autumn.

    The stretch between Rue des Teinturiers and Fontainas Square, which reserves a central roadway for slow-moving traffic, was recently completed.

    The transformation of the Stock Exchange area will start in February next, after the Winter Wonders festival.

    The last phase of the project takes place at the Fontainas Square. Work there will be commissioned in 2019, while the entire project is to be completed by 2020. The square, hitherto used as a simple road network, will become a tree-lined square in the extension of the eponymous park.

    The pedestrian network will include 9,000m3 of green spaces, way above the existing 300m2.

    Maria Novak
    The Brussels Times