Redevelopment Oosterweel island Antwerp

The Oosterweel island in Antwerp will undergo comprehensive redevelopment within a few years. The structure will be updated and the traffic flows will be optimised, making the Oosterweel island safer and more efficient for traffic.

Safe and smooth for inland navigation, rail and road traffic

The Wilmarsdonk and Oosterweel bridges are at the end of their useful life and in need of replacement. Port of Antwerp-Bruges wants to take this opportunity to improve traffic flow and road safety on the main axes of the Oosterweel island, in addition to replacing these bridges. The intention is to aim towards a transition to smooth and safe road and rail traffic, as well as unobstructed passage for inland navigation.

 

The purpose of this project is to redevelop various traffic infrastructure in the north-south axis of the Oosterweel island to address current problems (mobility, traffic safety and ageing infrastructure), as well as future challenges.

Impact on companies

The implementation of the project will entail the redevelopment of the Oosterweel island. As part of this, we will personally contact all the concessionaires and stakeholders directly involved.

Preliminary route

During the 2020-2021 period, we tested a total of 22 potential improvement scenarios against a reference scenario, with specimens of the Wilmarsdonk and Oosterweel bridges similar to those as they exist today. Following a comparison in terms of inconvenience and waiting times for road traffic, rail traffic and inland navigation, safety and budget, we established a preferred scenario. In late 2021, in collaboration with engineering consultancy Sweco and Infrabel, we began the detailed development of this preferred scenario.

 

As a result of the current economic conditions, by mid-2022 it became apparent that the investment costs necessary to implement the preferred scenario had risen to such an extent that its implementation was no longer feasible or socially acceptable. In the summer of 2022, we therefore revisited the scope and adjusted the starting points for further development.

Wat verandert er concreet?

Vanaf oktober 2022 tot eind 2024 zetten we de detailstudie met inbegrip van het vergunningentraject en de aanbestedingsprocedure verder. Hierbij maken we gebruik van innovatieve duurzaamheidsprincipes in zowel het ontwerp als de uitvoering met het oog op een ecologische haven.

Two railway bridges

Two mobile bridges for rail traffic will replace the Wilmarsdonk bridge. During the construction of the Oosterweel bridge, these will divert road traffic. To minimise disruption to inland navigation, these bridges will only be lowered for train passage.

New route for rail track

Rail traffic will receive a new route plan north of Wilmardonksteenweg. Immediately south of the Wilmarsdonk bridges, the tracks will diverge to the east (across the Vollers site) and connect to the existing rail network via an underpass under the embankment.

Rail and road traffic separated

The existing Oosterweelsteenweg will remain the main axis for road traffic. In the process, the cycle paths will meet today's standards. For this, we will follow the start and project note procedure.

 

Rail interference with road traffic on the north side of the island will disappear. The rail crossings at the Noordkasteel bridges and the former Waterway Police will remain unchanged for now.

 

The Noordkasteel bridge will be maintained in its current state. Both bridges will remain accessible to rail and road traffic.

Fixed bridge for road traffic, smooth passage for inland navigation

The Oosterweel bridge will be a raised, fixed overpass bridge for road traffic. The height of the bridge should allow barges with high loads to pass through without any issues.

 

The embankment on the northern side will cross the existing route path of the Oosterweelsteenweg between the Oosterweel bridge and Vosseschijnstraat.

 

The embankment on the southern side of the bridge will cross the existing route path of the existing Oosterweelsteenweg between the Oosterweel bridge and Wilmarsdonksteenweg. The connections from Vrieskaai and Schenkeldijk to Oosterweelsteenweg will disappear. They will be replaced by a new connection to the eastern part of the island in the extension of Wilmarsdonksteenweg.

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