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Retailers worried about months-long works on Dansaert

14:26 07/07/2021

Rue Antoine Dansaert will soon turn into one big construction zone, as many utility works are planned in the downtown street famed for shopping, dining and drinking. “It is going to be a nightmare,” remarked Carine Lauwers of Downtown Dansaert.

It all started when energy supplier Sibelga requested a permit to dig up Dansaert to lay new power lines. If the street is going to be opened up anyway, said water supplier Vivaqua, we might as well take advantage of it to inspect and lay new piping. The telecoms companies got on board and will also carry out their own works in turn.

While this actually shows a co-operative spirit the likes of which we are not used to from public works in Brussels, it’s going to prove a long row to hoe for area shops, bars and restaurants. The schedule sees the section of street between Rue des Poissonniers and Rue du Vieux Marché aux Grains open for three months, from early September to the end of November.

Two phases

During the first week, traffic will be restricted to one way and following that, the pavements will be inaccessible. Sibelga says that bridges will be places to allow customers to reach the businesses. It also promised to work in lengths of no more than 25 metres at a time to limit the inconvenience.

The second phase of the works would take place from March to June next year, from Rue du Vieux Marché aux Grains all the way to the canal.

While retail association Downtown Dansaert understands that the works must be carried out, it is arguing for them to start a month later as September is the beginning of the crucial autumn season. Lauwers hopes, she told Bruzz, that the city will use this opportunity to resurface the area and lay down new and wider pavements as has already been done on Dansaert between the Vieux and Nouveau Marché aux Grains.

“That would do a lot for the street,” she said. “But I haven’t heard anything about it. I’m afraid they’ll just dig it up and then throw it back together like it is.”

Photo ©Jean-Paul Remy/Visit Brussels

 

Written by Lisa Bradshaw