€1 billion for Oosterweel requested from EU
Flanders has applied for a €1 billion loan from the European Investment Bank to help fund the massive project that will close Antwerp’s ring road and bring more public space to the city
Project is ‘strategically important’
The Oosterweel connection will close the circle of the Antwerp ring to make it easier for freight traffic from the port area to head east towards Germany or north towards the Netherlands. At present all traffic has to travel south first, creating congestion and extra cost to trucking concerns.
The Oosterweel connection, named for a village that once stood along the proposed route, would allow freight traffic to use a northerly by-pass, which would relieve pressure to the ring road, diverting lorries from city-bound traffic altogether.
“There will be fewer traffic jams on the motorway, less traffic in the city, and the port will be more accessible,” Tommelein said. “The project is good for the environment and improves road safety.”
The EIB’s has said that it will consider the application, which Tommelein said was a positive sign. “That a European institution believes in the project and probably intends to invest in it demonstrates the importance of Oosterweel,” he said. “As we have always said, Oosterweel is important not only for Antwerp, Flanders and Belgium, but for Europe as a whole. I am convinced the EIB will show its faith in the project.”
Photo courtesy BAM
Traffic in Flanders
largest area covered in traffic ever recorded in Belgium in kilometres
time Antwerp drivers spend in gridlock per year in hours
traffic diversions in Flanders per year