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Have your say on Antwerp’s new cycle bridge over the Scheldt

19:00 07/06/2019

Antwerp is preparing to build a new cycle bridge over the River Scheldt, together with a spectacular riverfront viewing platform in the Nieuw Zuid neighbourhood. In the next few weeks, the public is invited to look at the plans, hear from its backers and give their opinion on how the project should progress.

The bridge is part of broader project to modernise Antwerp, improving the quality of life in the city and making it a more sustainable place to work. Between September 2017 and May 2018, six design teams worked with interested residents to develop concrete proposals for the city.

Team West proposed the new Scheldt Bridge, which will give cyclists and pedestrians an easy way to cross the river. “With a reliable connection across the Scheldt, we want to persuade even more people to use bicycles for all their journeys,” said Koen Kennis, city councillor responsible for mobility. “The bridge is the final piece of functional bicycle network around, from and to the city.”

Meanwhile, Team South suggested the Scheldt Balcony, to be built as part of a broader redevelopment of the old quays in the Nieuw Zuid neighbourhood. To take the ideas forward, the bridge and the balcony have been merged into one project.

The consultation is taking place earlier than normal for such a large civil engineering project, so that the public can shape the plans before they are set in stone.

“In the past, public participation was only organised once the entire project had been decided,” said Flemish mobility minister Ben Weyts. “Now we are involving broad sections of the public from the outset. Only in this way will there be the necessary support for a large project such as a bridge over the Scheldt.”

The consultation will also help ensure that there are sufficient guarantees regarding safety and access for shipping on the river, for example, and also take into account broader uses of public space at either end of the bridge.

The plans will be presented at three Bridge Days in Antwerp, on 12, 15 and 19 June. Feedback can also be given online until mid-August.

Photo: Team West

Written by Ian Mundell (Flanders Today)