Lydia Peeters (Open VLD), the Flemish minister for mobility and public works, has announced a plan to spend €2.2 billion in 2020 on mobility improvements and public works on roads and other infrastructure.
“My policy area is pre-eminently a domain with many public contracts and investments, which are an important motor for our Flemish economy,” she said, announcing the programme. “That is precisely why we want to maintain that high investment rhythm in 2020, despite the corona crisis.”
The entire plan consists of 924 different projects, from major to minor. Among the most important is the preparatory works on the long-awaited Oosterweel connection in Antwerp, which will close the circle of the city’s ring-road and ease traffic flow from the port facilities on the left bank of the Scheldt.
€234 million will go to the construction or renovation of three locks on the inland waterways system: on the Ghent-Terneuzen canal between the port of Ghent and the open sea; another lock at Zeebrugge; and the Royers lock in the port of Antwerp.
€180 million goes to works on the Brussels Ring, including the creation of separate lanes for local and through traffic in a plan designed to reduce accidents.
€153.5 million will be spent on public transport, including €83.5 million on rolling stock (trams and buses, as well as the Antwerp metro), €60 million on maintenance on the tram network and €10 million for cleaning up the surrounding at bus and tram stations.
Another €180 million will be spent on cycle infrastructure in 2020, on top of €145 million spent in 2019.
The Flemish public works and mobility ministry manages 1,356km of motorway, 5,629km of regional roads, 1,076km of navigable waterways, 7,684km of cycle paths and 2,777 of what it calls ‘artworks’ – bridges, tunnels and retaining walls.