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Second phase of work on Leonard tunnel starts

11:01 12/03/2024

The second phase of the renovation of the Leonard tunnel in Tervuren is set to begin on 18 March, with its reopening projected for early 2025.

Construction will begin with renovations of the side walls of the entrances and the steel supports of the E411 tunnel and the two Brussels ring road runnels.

The works are part of a €200 million investment from the Flemish government targeting urgent short-term tunnel renovations.

Many bridges and tunnels in Flanders that were built in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s are showing signs of age. To make up for the historic backlog in maintenance and guarantee safety, the Roads and Traffic Agency is working on a 2020-2030 action plan.

Renovating the Leonard tunnel will cost €28 million, which the agency said was “an essential investment to guarantee safety and considerably extend the tunnel's lifespan”.

The first phase of the renovation began in April 2023. Walls and ceilings have been repaired, the roof slab has been treated to prevent the reinforcing steel from rusting, and the ceiling has been covered with a fireproof coating.

Currently, workers are installing the cable ducts and pouring concrete for the safety barriers to come.

After the major renovation is completed, the Leonard tunnel will be ready for another 30 years of intensive use.

Separately the E411 tunnel will be undergoing maintenance work this autumn. Extra safety measures will be installed, such as firewalls, ventilation systems and radio systems to send messages to cars in the event of an incident.

Written by Helen Lyons