Cars banned from Schaerbeek tunnel de la Reine to create extra tram tunnel
Monday, 23 December 2019
The project was approved by the government on 12 December. Credit: Brussels Mobility
The tunnel on Avenue de la Reine under the railway line near the Brussels Gare du Nord station will be car-free to prevent through traffic.
Bicycle paths and tram tracks will be installed to improve the punctuality of line 62 and 93, and the Thomas tram tunnel, as well as a section of the Rue du Progrès, will be rebuilt, to make tram traffic at the Thomas stop more fluid, said Brussels Mobility and STIB.
The existing tram tunnel is used hundreds of times a day by trams on lines 25, 55, 62 and 93, which causes traffic congestion as well as wear and tear on the tram tracks.
The tunnel on the Avenue de la Reine, which is now still being used by car traffic, will be made car-free and transformed into tram tunnel, a little north of the Thomas tunnel.
After the works have been completed, tram lines 25 and 55 will keep using the Thomas tunnel, and lines 62 and 93 will start using the adjusted tunnel de la Reine to go straight ahead.
The new tracks will replace car lanes, meaning there will be a gap in the car traffic in the street that prevents driving from Place Liedts to the Masui district on the other side of the railway line in a straight line, reports RTBF.
The public space in and around the two tunnels will also be refurbished, with the new bicycle paths being created in the tunnel de la Reine being added to existing ones that will be renewed in the Thomas tunnel.
Both tunnels will have new lighting to increase the sense of safety, and several new mini squares will be built around the railway line.
The project has been approved by the government on 12 December. “This project improves the flow of trams and removes through traffic,” said Minister Elke Van den Brandt, reports Bruzz. “Together with the new cycle paths and the playgrounds, this is good for the livability of the neighbourhood,” she added.