The Ringland project proposes an integrated and sustainable solution, which implies a complete redesign of the R1 urban highway system, based on two major components: (1) a complete capping of the highway which moves the orbital motorway underground, freeing up the above space for new green areas and housing development; (2) a new traffic system, where the local (urban) traffic and through traffic are ducked in separate tunnels.
Form of project announcement
Originally created in the 1960s, this highway system is now enclosed by housing development through continued urban expansion. Consequently, the highway system (part of TEN-T) currently runs through densely populated areas within the city (about 500,000 inhabitants), which has a major impact on air quality, living conditions and health (the zone near the R1 highway systematically surpasses the EU health standard for air pollution, and therefore the Belgian government faces EU conviction). Moreover, the city of Antwerp urgently needs additional green areas (e.g. to combat the urban heat island effect) as well as new housing development, as the city expects a population increase of 70,000 inhabitants by 2050.
The expected revenues are equal to 7.1 billion euro in net present value terms over thirty years. Most of the revenues (6.6 billion euro) will come from a congestion charge associated with the use of the tunnel system, while the remainder will come from real estate development in the form of 16,000 new housing units and 400,000 square meter new office space (500 million euro).
Indicative timetable of project development
Feasible start date of construction: January 2018 in case there is permission by the Flemish Government.
- Expected completion date of construction: December 2025.
- Breakdown of investment phases:
o Construction of the through traffic tunnel in the direction of the Netherlands (south-west to north).
o Construction of the through traffic tunnel in the direction of the Kennedy-tunnel (north to south-west).
o Construction of the tunnels for the local traffic (in both directions).
o Construction of the city highway on top of the cap (in both directions).
o Park area and gradual real estate development.
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Stage 2: Project Investigation
6,790.2 M USD 5,600 M EUR
Indicative Funding Source
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Is the project contained in national/sub national infrastructure plan or strategy