BELGA/ ERIC LALMAND

"Avoid the motorway between Leuven and Brussels"

Road works on the E40 Motorway in Bertem are triggering long tailbacks. Traffic experts are warning motorists to avoid the area around Leuven for the time being. Traffic between Leuven and the capital is also heavily impacted. The problems will continue for 10 days. 

The road surface is being replaced on the stretch of the E40 between Bertem and Heverlee. The works started this morning and will last for 10 days: they should be finished early on Monday 3 September, when the new school year kicks off. 

The works were planned in the final week of the summer holidays, to have a moderate impact, but experts think the works will create long jams anyway, as capacity is being reduced drastically on this very busy stretch of the Belgian motorway network.  

Brussels-bound traffic coming from the E40 in Liège will only have one lane left; the same goes for Brussels-bound traffic coming from Limburg and the E314. East-bound traffic coming from Brussels, will also be confronted with a narrow passage, as only one of four lanes will be open. 

If you were thinking of avoiding the motorways to skip the jams, you can think again: alternative roads such as the N2 trunk road linking Leuven to Brussels, are also expected to become one long ordeal for motorists, as many will try to look for alternatives.

The best alternative, therefore, is probably the train, or the bicycle, if you can handle the distance. There is a "bicycle highway" between Leuven and Brussels which is car-free in many sections.