State of Brussels' roads and bridges: "catastrophic"

The umbrella of Belgian engineering consultants has attacked the maintenance of Belgian roads, tunnels and viaducts. The industry federation denounces the present state of maintenance as virtually nonexistent.

Chair Jan Bosschem even notes that the situation in Brussels is catastrophic: "No maintenance is being carried out in Brussels. Only when something dreadful occurs. The situation in Wallonia isn't good either. There are gigantic potholes in the motorways."

The federation notes that Flanders performs better because it organises "collective maintenance". Jan Bosschem: "Still we note that the situation is deteriorating. 30% of infrastructure is of poor or of insufficient quality."

What about Flanders?

Flanders invests 350 million euros in the maintenance of roads and bridges every year. The federation says that this only provides a narrow margin. Jan Bosschem argues that also in Flanders maintenance budgets need to rise. He adds that if the authorities can't foot the bill, roads should be given in concession to private partners as happens abroad.

Flemish mobility minster Weyts insists that roads and bridges in Flanders meet quality norms. Most of Flanders' 2,000 tunnels are in a state that can be described as satisfactory to excellent. A team of 50 people is monitoring the state of Flemish tunnels and budgets have been doubled. Budgets for road infrastructure will rise by 30% starting next year.

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