Civil & Industry
Brussels ring road, Belgium
Corten steel on the Brussels ring road
Anyone driving over the connecting bridge between Zaventem and the Diegem business zone will have noticed it: the old concrete bridge is in need of replacement. The Flemish Government will modernise the entire ring road and the renovation of the R0-Henneaulaan complex with a new bridge construction will be a priority. Two bridges made of Corten steel will soon be erected there. This is quite unique for a technically complex concept, at least in Belgium, where structural bridges have not previously been built in this material.
The bridge over the R0: traffic often comes to a standstill, cyclists and pedestrians are afraid to cross the bridge because of the unsafe situation. The Flemish Government intends to change this with the construction of a new bridge, followed by works on the connections to the Ring road. The goal: safer roads with easy approaches and exits, better traffic flow and a pleasant environment for people and animals.
De werkvennootschap opted for ‘quick wins’. A number of road works within the programme are being accelerated, and the renovation of the obsolete bridge on the Hector Henneaulaan is one example. The construction of the bridge was entrusted to the joint venture Besix (foundations and concrete works) - Iemants (steel production and installation).
KW01 will eventually be used by cyclists and pedestrians, KW02 is the bridge for cars. We are building the first bridge in Hoboken, where we have enough space to lay it out completely. The cutting is done in Balen. After road transport, the bridge will be welded together at the final location – temporary assembly site. KW02 will be made for 100% in Arendonk.
Installation in Corten steel
What makes this version special is not so much its shape, but the material: Corten steel. It was already used for the new cycle bridge in Hechtel-Eksel, Cycling through Trees, but not yet for bridges that have to carry more weight. The engineering study was performed by SBE as a subcontractor of Besix, with our input for the stability in temporary situations. Iemants is also responsible for the assembly studies and shop drawings.
With special road transport, we transport the bridge components to a temporary site for assembly and disassembly. The bridge deck is assembled at ground level. We will then jack up the bridge to a height of approx. 8 m so that modular multiwheelers can be fitted under it to drive it to its final location across the Ring, where it will be lowered onto its foundation.
Besides the technically strong steelwork, the surroundings also play a major part. When both bridges are completed and traffic is no longer diverted, KW01 will be exclusively for cyclists and pedestrians. In addition to a separate cycling lane and footpath, there will also be a free bus lane and a wildlife crossing or green strip along the entire length of the new construction. It will connect the green areas on both sides of the Ring. And all of this brings valuable new perspectives for at least 50 years.