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Brussels pedestrian zone broken up again

© Albert Bridge/Wikimedia

The recently constructed pedestrian zone on Boulevard Anspach has been broken up because the blue stones chosen for the road’s surface don’t seem able to handle the traffic of heavy buses.

“There were problems with the road surface, possibly due to the busy traffic flow at that location,” Elien De Swaef, spokesperson for Beliris, told Bruzz. “It has now been decided to replace the blue stone with concrete at that location.”

Beliris is a cooperation between the Federal government and the Brussels Region with the aim of improving the image of Brussels as the capital of Belgium and Europe. It has been tasked with other important projects, like the careful restoration and cleaning of landmark churches.

The city of Brussels, however, said nothing about the quality of the pavers in their explanation for the dismantling of the road, saying instead that it’s being done to allow the gutters to be replaced.

“From 15 March 2021, road repair works will start at the Boulevard Anspach, at the crossroads with the Rue des Teinturiers and Rue des Riches-Claires and Plattesteen, which will be dismantled to allow the gutters to be replaced. These works will last five weeks,” their website says.

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The area of the pedestrian zone currently being taken apart, built only a few years ago, isn’t the only one with issues.

The newly redeveloped central avenues were seriously damaged in a number of places by car or bus traffic last year. Potholes were visible on parts of the Place De Brouckère, and broken bricks were noticed on Boulevard Anspach as far back as February 2020.

The city says that along with the work on Boulevard Anspach, a five-week redevelopment project will start at the Rue des Riches-Claires, as well. The Rue de l’Éclipse and Rue de la Grande-Île (between Riches-Claires and Place Fontainas) will also be redeveloped. All of the projects are said to take five months.

Helen Lyons
The Brussels Times