Brussels to reprogram all on-hold construction sites
With the coronavirus lockdown, the majority of public construction sites have been put on hold in Brussels. Authorities are now planning the restart schedule, and they are aiming to reduce the possible negative impact on the recovery of the economic activity.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the construction sector is idling. With difficulties to respect social distancing and equipment sanitizing rules, 95% of all public construction sites have had to be put on hold in the Brussels Region.
“We had to secure the closed sites. However, some important work is still being done, such as our yearly marking repair campaign and the different potholes repairs needed. The reduced traffic helps to ease all that work. We also continue with all that is seasonal such as plantations,” explains Camille Thiry, spokesperson for Brussels Mobility.
The same situation is to be found on the rail. The Stib/Mivb had a 15 km rail renewal campaign for 2020 but due to the current situation, ten surface track projects have been stopped. On the other hand, reduced traffic helps above-ground activities. “Surveyors have resumed their work, which allows us to advance and plan future sites,” notes Françoise Ledune, spokeswoman for the Stib/Mivb.
Regional authorities are already working on a specific restart plan when the lockdown is lifted. A Construction Coordination Council met on March 30 to coordinate the restart. They aim to reduce the possible negative impact on the recovery of economic activity as much as possible.
“It all depends on how the lockdown will be lifted, but it’s probable that construction sites located in strategic zones economic would be postponed,” notes Brussels Mobility Minister, Elke Van den Brandt (Groen). On that matter, the public transport operator wishes to make up for the lost time, even if it means carrying out two projects in parallel in the same area. “We hope that the committee will take into account the essential nature of our activity and that we will be considered as having the priority,” adds the spokeswoman.