You have not accepted cookies yet

This content is blocked. Please accept marketing cookies. You can do this here.

31 bridges

were raised


more inland navigation capacity

2 million

fewer trucks per year

The challenge

The Albert Canal transports nearly 40 million goods annually and is the main inland waterway in Flanders. Moreover, transportation by water is more sustainable than by road. However, the current limitation in clearance height and width under bridges restricts the number of container layers that a cargo ship can carry. Therefore, The Flemish Waterway invested in the main growth bottleneck of Flemish inland navigation.

The solution

In collaboration with Sweco, Arcadis supported The Flemish Waterway in raising several bridges over the Albert Canal to a height of 9.10 meters above the canal level. This elevation allows ships to transport up to four layers of containers, increasing capacity by 25%.


    For 31 bridges, we assisted The Flemish Waterway in the study, tendering, and execution of the works. We also implemented measures to minimize disruption, such as planning work phases, setting up detours, and efficiently organizing traffic.


    Out of the 31 bridges, 15 were rebuilt through a PPP-DBFM approach. This involved a public-private partnership agreement that included design, construction, financing, and 30-year maintenance. We developed the assignment and details, and then monitored the process of the public-private partnership during the execution.


    The remaining 16 bridges were tendered in the usual manner. We conducted concept and stability studies, defined the assignment, and supported The Flemish Waterway in obtaining the necessary permits.

The impact

One ship of 1200 tons replaces 50 trucks. This means that 8,000 trucks stay out of traffic jams every day, resulting in 2 million fewer trucks annually. By raising and widening the bridges over the Albert Canal, ships can now transport up to four layers of containers. This not only boosts our inland navigation and economy but also relieves our roads from heavy traffic.

Used capabilities

Connect with {name} for more information & questions

Arcadis will use your name and email address only to respond to your question. More information can be found in our Privacy policy