In order to plan and design a road tunnel with 500m length close to the Gent-Dampoort railway station and 11.5km of new tram line connections in Ghent, Belgium, the contract with €14.3M (£12M) value was awarded to Sweco.
The presenter department of this contract is De Werkvennootschap, within the Flemish government.
Considering that the traffic junction at the Gent-Dampoort station in the north of the city has been one of the most dangerous places in Ghent and Flanders for years, in September 2021, the proposal of opting a tunnel beneath the junction to make it safer for pedestrians, cyclists, and local traffic was approved by the Flemish government.
The plans involve moving the R40 ring road outside the Gent-Dampoort station underground into a 500m long two-lane tunnel.
Sweco’s duties under this contract will be implementing a study for the tunnel, a study for the construction of an 11.5km tram line, including the underpass at Heuvelpoort, as well as the redevelopment of six public squares.
On top of this Sweco is responsible for project management, accompanying studies and technical assistance, stakeholder management, and project communication.
According to Sweco Belgium president Erwin Malcorps: “Our assignment not only includes providing a solution to the often-dangerous traffic situation in and around the Dampoort area, it also includes a clear ambition to support people in switching from car to public transport and cycling.”
He continued: “Our urban planners, engineers, and traffic specialists will join forces and closely examine how improvements can be made to the quality of life, traffic safety, and mobility in the area.”
“With a well-thought-out design, we will ensure a much better flow of traffic, improve safety and ensure sustainable transportation that is of benefit to the citizens in and around Ghent,” Malcorps added.
The estimated date for completing this study is the spring of 2024.