Iconic Antwerp ‘pedestrian tunnel’ gets makeover

The Antwerp Saint Anne tunnel, the so-called ‘pedestrian tunnel’, has been closed for a while because it recently had a makeover. Graffiti was removed and walls and ceilings were painted with a special, water-based antibacterial paint to be moistureproof. The Agency for Roads and Traffic (Agentschap Wegen en Verkeer, AWV) finished the job n six days.

The AWV team needed 1 100 liter paint to embellish a surface of 5 000 m2. Also, the escalators were cleaned and renovated, and 1 500 meters of handrails were replaced. In addition, old TL lights were replaced by LED lights. During the works, there was only a narrow passage, and people had to get off their bikes and continue on foot.

Tourist attraction

The Antwerp pedestrian tunnel is almost a tourist attraction. It was officially opened in 1933, and access is possible on both banks of the river Scheldt. The authentic wooden escalators were unique at the time of the inauguration.

The original idea was to build a bridge over the river to connect both banks, but those plans were abandoned because a bridge would hinder boat traffic. In 1931, the decision was taken to construct a tunnel. Today, most of the components of the entrance buildings and the tunnel still are original.

Intensively used

The Saint Ann tunnel still is daily and intensively used by Antwerp inhabitants, commuters, visitors, and tourists. From the left bank of the river Scheldt, you get a wonderful view of the Antwerp skyline.

Flemish Minister for Mobility, Lydia Peeters (Open Vld), invested six million euros in the project.

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