Corona: 95% of Brussels construction sites at standstill
Due to the coronavirus, around 85% of Brussels Mobility’s construction sites and all Federal sites have been put on hold. The basic social distancing and equipment sanitizing rules are difficult to apply, and many subcontractors were unable to continue. Only the bare minimum is being dealt with, such as pothole repairs and gardening.
To deal with the current coronavirus crisis, the Belgian government introduced a lockdown to try and stop the infection from spreading. Companies are forced to use homeworking, and those who aren’t able must respect the social distancing and equipment sanitizing rules. These two simple rules are difficult to apply on construction sites.
For the reasons mentioned above, Brussels Mobility has had to bring 85% of all its on-going construction sites at a standstill. For Beliris, the Federal body in charge of major infrastructure projects in Brussels, all sites are put on hold, as subcontractors are incapable to continue to work.
“These companies have notified us that their activities have stopped, and we have asked for the sites to be secured. We’ve noted that there is between 55 and 75% less traffic depending on the location, but this is certainly not the time for us to force contractors to work given the context,” explains Camille Thiry, spokesperson for Brussels Mobility.
Full stop for Beliris
At Beliris, the decision has been taken to completely stop all construction works until April 19. “It is difficult to accommodate social distancing measures with the safety of workers on-site, and it’s just as difficult on certain sites to take sufficient measures in terms of hygiene, especially for transport. We, therefore, decided to stop all construction sites,” notes Marianne Hiernaux, spokesperson for Beliris.
“Some major projects are completely stopped, such as that of the Tram 9 or the renovation of metro stations, while others are continuing, but at a very slow pace, such as the construction of the Leopold II tunnel or the Constitution station’s construction for the Metro 3 line,” adds Brussels Mobility.
Emergency teams are still on standby to deal with urgent matters such as potholes repairs. Furthermore, all gardening and roadside trimming continues as usual.