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Work to start on cycle corridors connecting Wallonia to Brussels via N275 and E411
Commuting from Walloon Brabant to Brussels by bike is set to be a more attractive option in the future, following the Walloon government's approval for a series of bicycle corridors connecting the region to the capital.
The cycle paths could be completed by 2025, reports RTBF. A 14km section of the new route will be financed to the tune of €14.73 million by the National Plan for Recovery and Resilience (PNRR).
The ambitious plan is divided into two sub projects. The first will connect La Hulpe/Rixensart/Lasne and the north of the municipality of Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve to Hoeilaart/Watermael-Boisfort and the Brussels-Capital Region via the N275.
The second will connect Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve/Mont-Saint-Guibert/Chastre/Wavre and Chaumont-Gistoux to Overijse and the Brussels-Capital Region via the E411 motorway and the N4.
Work on first section to start this summer
For the N275, the work is planned in two phases, with the first starting this summer and lasting until December. It has an approved budget of just over €2 million. The second phase, which concerns the 13 km section linking La Hulpe and Ottignies, needs to undergo a route study due to be launched early 2023.
For the E411 and the N4, the corridor is divided into three sections over a total of 12 km. The first section will link exit 7 of the E411 and Louvain-la-Neuve along the N4. The works will be awarded in the last quarter of 2022.
The second section concerns the cycle path along the E411 between Overijse and Bierges, to be awarded in the autumn of 2023. As for the third section, which is the most demanding for project engineers, it forms the link between Bierges and exit 7 of the E411. The section should be awarded in mid-2024.
Transport links between Belgium’s regions have often been the subject of delays due to lack of agreement between the regions and federal institutions. The much-delayed fast-speed RER rail network is just one example.
But Walloon mobility minister Philippe Henry (Ecolo) says that even if infrastructure investments require collaboration with the Flemish and Brussels regions as well as the federal state, Walloon investments are not dependent on the other structures.
Coordination will nevertheless be established to ensure the proper completion of the different phases and make the project operational and harmonious, he assures.