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12.05.2014 - Site visit to the works in progress for the redevelopment of the quays along the Meuse in Liège

As pointed out by the new chairman Claude Van Rooten, site visits are an excellent means to gather the Belgian actors in the road construction branch and promote the sharing of knowledge between them.

That is why ABR/BWV seized the opportunity of its administrative bodies meeting on 12th May last to arrange a site visit to the works in progress for the redevelopment of the quays along the river Meuse in Liège. The participants in the XXIIth Belgian Road Congress, which was held in the “Ardent City” on September 11 through 13, 2013, were invited for this visit as well.

After a short presentation of the scope, the objectives and the challenges of the project, some seventy participants were given a guided tour of the work site.

The project, which enjoys European funding on a 40-% basis, fits within a larger concept to optimize the use of public space in the city and to give Liège a new look. It aims to:

  • improve the urban environment;
  • promote mobility and soft transport modes;
  • reduce the pressure of car traffic;
  • increase road safety, especially for vulnerable road users;
  • integrate the banks of the Meuse in the urban fabric;
  • prepare the arrival of the tramline.

This calls for a harmonious reallocation of public space between pedestrians, cyclists and motorists. Concrete measures to that effect include:

  • the construction of a new urban boulevard while providing eight junctions with safe pedestrian and cycle crossings;
  • the provision of footways and cycle paths and of pedestrian and cycle routes;
  • the construction of a tunnel over a length of 400 m;
  • efforts to make the banks of the Meuse more attractive to pedestrians and cyclists and for recreational activities;
  • the adaptation of street lighting;
  • the planting of one hundred and eighty trees.

The works are raising major challenges:

  • the site extends over a length of 2.5 km;
  • a lot of technical aspects need to be considered, as well as obligations in the areas of safety, environment, space planning;
  • the works must be integrated with other on-going or future projects such as the renovation of public utilities (water, gas, electricity), the redevelopment of the Guillemins square, and the construction of the Boverie footbridge on the Meuse, of offices for the ministry of finance and of a tramline.

To meet these challenges, the following approach has been chosen:

  • the works are carried out in stages between November 2012 and December 2014. This makes it possible to guarantee mobility and accessibility throughout the duration of the project;
  • the various parties involved consult on a regular basis (client SPW – Direction des Routes de Liège, consultancy firm, contractor, city of Liège, police, public transport companies SRWT and TEC, residents, etc.).

ABR-BWV would like thank the following persons who directly or indirectly participated in the organization of this fascinating site visit:

  • Laurent Donato, SPW – Direction générale Routes et Bâtiments and chairman of the organizing committee for the XXIInd Belgian Road Congress in Liège in 2013;
  • Philippe Lemoine, SPW – Direction de la Gestion du Trafic routier;
  • Murielle Dossin, SPW – Service Communication;
  • Lucie Gérardy, SPW – site engineer (introductory presentation);
  • Alain Denis, SPW – district manager;
  • Frédéric Laffineur, SPW – site inspector;
  • Stefaan Wauters, Betonac (guided tour in Dutch);
  • Thibaut Vandermeulen, Galère (guided tour in French);
  • José Piron and his team, Référence Média (logistic organization).

The presentation of ir. Lucie Gérardy is also available.

Copyright Bureau Greisch, curtosy of SPW – Images ABR-BWV

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