The canal tunnels connect the Ringroad and the Oosterweel junction in the southern port area. It is no longer necessary to leave the Ringroad at Merksem or Deurne to visit the port, as the canal tunnels can be taken all the way to Noordkasteel.
We are building the tunnels along the southern bank of the Albert Canal. Before we can commence, water, gas and electricity lines at the Straatburgdok-Zuidekaai need to be relocated, to prevent them from obstructing the works.
The cables and pipelines that currently run under the canal will be removed and attached to a steel structure under the bridge ‘Straatsburgbrug’.
The preparatory work for the utility lines has begun. Many cables and pipelines will need to be relocated in preparation for the work on the canal tunnels, which is due to begin in the summer of 2023.
A concrete plant will be built at Straatburgdok-Noordkaai.
Construction of the canal tunnels begins. To minimise any nuisance in the surrounding area, we carry out the works in phases. Once we have more information on these phases, we will add it to this page.
In June 2023 the construction of the concrete plant at Straatsburgdok-Noordkaai begins. You can watch a short presentation (NL + EN subtitles) about the construction of the plant through this link.
Cars approaching from Elzaweg have no option but to turn left, towards Vosseschijnstraat. Cyclists and pedestrians will still be able to pass.
Frequently asked questions
1. How will the construction activities on the site be combined with shipping traffic on the Albert Canal?
a. What is VTS and why do you need it?
The shipping traffic will always be given sufficient room to manoeuvre. The area in which the works take place is subject to additional requirements, such as a speed limit. This guarantees safety for all. The construction site will be very well run and very strictly organised.
VTS stands for Vessel Traffic System. It is a type of shipping guidance that we will need on the Albert Canal to combine the works with the shipping traffic. As well as providing guidance, we will be working on passage planning with the Port Authority. This is also needed because a one-way traffic system will be established in the construction zone.
b. When will the VTS be operational for this sector?
The Port Authority and Lantis expect to complete the preparations and recruitments in the first half of 2023 and to have the VTS operational by the summer of 2023.
c. In which sector will the VTS operate?
The VTS will be set up in the Weel sector, from the fifth Port Dock to the Merksem dock.
2. What are the exact dimensions of the navigation channel during the works?
The minimum width is equal to the width of the Wijnegem lock, i.e. 24 m. The width of the navigation channel varies and it has been tested using different vessel types.
3. A bridge is being constructed at the end of the Asia Dock. What is this bridge for, and how is it operated?
We do not want to mix the site traffic with regular traffic in any way. Separate construction roads are being built for that reason. They are accessed by a new bridge over the Asia Dock, the Luikbrug. This bridge is for site traffic only.
a. Will the construction of the Luikbrug cause a longer disruption to the shipping traffic?
No, the construction of the Luikbrug will not cause any disruption to the shipping traffic.
b. When will the Luikbrug be completed?
The construction of the Luikbrug is due for completion in Q4 2023.
4. How will the operation of the Luikbrug be organised?
The Luikbrug (for site traffic only) will be operated by contractor ROCO. The operating times are incorporated within the VTS operations.
5. What is the expected end date of the works?
Lantis aims to finish the Oosterweel works by the end of 2030. Subsequently, the commissioning of the Oosterweel Link will take place in early 2031.
6. What is the impact of the works on pleasure cruises?
Pleasure cruises are treated equally in the VTS passage planning. Convoys will be formed in a nautically optimal composition to accommodate all applicants.
7. What is the impact of the works on traffic from the city port?
Entries and departures from the city port have been taken into consideration as part of the VTS passage planning.
8. When will the time slot for the convoy composition be released? So that, if necessary, the speed can be adjusted to avoid long waiting times for the site area.
The composition will be determined and communicated three hours before passage. As long as there is available capacity within a passage, ships can request passage. Passage right can be requested until the passage begins.
9. Will blockages or work stoppages further up along the Albert Canal be taken into account? Is there any other cooperation with locks?
There is a collaboration with the Wijnegem lock as well as with the Merksem dock about bridge openings. Other matters such as incidents will be included in the passage planning.
10. What is the procedure followed in case of any incidents in the site area?
Any incidents that may occur will be handled ad hoc by the passage planners and VTS operators on duty. They will coordinate all matters relating to the incident and notify other scheduled shipping traffic.