Antwerp, Belgium - Tractebel and Arcadis, two international consultancy and engineering firms, have been commissioned by Lantis to start a study for the realization of a second Tijsmans tunnel. The current Tijsmans tunnel, part of the R2 in the north of Antwerp, has reached its capacity and is therefore often a bottleneck in the smooth handling of international and local traffic. The realization of a second connection under the Kanaaldok is therefore high on the list of priorities and is also part of the Future Covenant.
The temporary partnership of ElisAnt, the name under which Tractebel and Arcadis are working together for this project, will therefore start work this month. Their commission includes the studies, design, supervision and project management of the realization of the second Tijsmans tunnel.
Strict COVID-19 measures fortunately are not preventing ElisAnt from immediately starting the studies. The Lantis-ElisAnt collaboration is organized digitally and the team has the necessary data, tools and expertise to work remotely.
The current Tijsmans tunnel dates from 1967 and connects the banks of the Kanaaldok in the port of Antwerp. As part of the R2, it provides an important connection at supra-local and international level. In addition, it also provides access to the local business parks and nearby residential areas. The current capacity of 2x2 lanes is insufficient to fulfil this double function. The many weaving movements and differences in speed also create unsafe situations. In addition, a thorough renovation of the tunnel is necessary so that the tunnel again meets safety requirements. But before the tunnel can be renovated, a second connection must first be created. Only in this way can the connection between the two banks of the Kanaaldok be guaranteed and work will be done on a northern arrangement for supra-local traffic, one of the pillars of the Future Covenant.
The Future Covenant focuses not only on closing the Ring, but also on a northern alternative around the city so that supra-local and port traffic is routed around the city as much as possible. With its current, limited capacity, the Tijsmans Tunnel cannot possibly be presented as an alternative for supra-local traffic. That is why work is being done on a second Tijsmans tunnel.
“The study is very complex due to the many different objectives. It contains challenges in the areas of mobility, quality of life and road safety. But I am convinced that with ElisAnt we have the know-how and experience to solve the puzzle,” according to Jef Ickmans of ElisAnt.
Luc Hellemans, General Manager of Lantis: “Arcadis and Tractebel are international consultancies with an extensive track record in infrastructure and mobility. The capacity and expertise that they offer together was the deciding factor in choosing ElisAnt. Their approach guarantees Lantis the quality and multidisciplinary support needed for projects of this size”.
According to the current timing, work on a second Tijsmans tunnel could start around 2023/2024. It is not yet clear whether this work will also be carried out under Lantis' management.
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