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€1.6 million extra to speed-up pedestrian zone work
Brussels-City has allocated an additional €1.6 million to speed-up construction on the pedestrian zone. The city council would like to get the work between Place Fontainas and Rue des Riches Claires finished before the municipal elections in October, it was announced during a council meeting earlier this week.
The council is also responding to ongoing complaints from shops and restaurants in the zone that construction works are hurting business. The locals were only made more frustrated when a stretch of road near De Brouckère, which was supposed to be finished in early May, had to be torn up as the paving stones were laid in the wrong direction.
The opposition was critical of the decision. “It’s really too bad that Brussels residents have to pay twice,” said Christian Ceux (cdH). “But also, speeding-up the project will be at the expense of quality. We’ll see where we are in six months.”
When finished, the pedestrian zone will cover Boulevard Anspach from Fontainas to De Brouckère, taking in some streets east of Anspach. Together with the current pedestrian areas, it will create one zone of some 50 hectares with uniform paving stones. It will also include green spaces, benches and fountains.
Works on the pedestrian zone began last year, though the area was closed to traffic in 2015. Works are scheduled to last until mid-2019. The total cost of the zone is now €34.6 million.
Photo: The future Place Fontainas once works are complete