The morning rush hour in Antwerp threatens to get in the way on Friday morning. A bridge joint on the Merksem viaduct that previously caused problems must be urgently repaired. Friday morning, around 6 a.m., a contractor is carrying out a new emergency repair. This may involve taking three lanes of traffic. The Roads and Traffic Agency (AWV) and the Traffic Center warn of serious nuisance and extra traffic jams.
Damage was again found to one of the bridge joints in the road surface on the Merksem viaduct of the Antwerp ring road (R1). “It is the same joint that was temporarily repaired last week. Due to the heavy traffic load, an element of the joint broke during the evening of September 22,” said Stephanie Nagels, spokesperson for the Agency for Roads and Traffic (AWV).
During the night from Thursday to Friday, two of the four lanes on the viaduct in the direction of the Netherlands, near the Sportpaleis, were therefore closed for safety reasons. On Friday morning, from the start of the emergency repairs around 06:00, an extra lane may be taken. Traffic to the Netherlands therefore always retains passage, but it is limited. That will lead to additional files. It is not yet known how long the work and the associated disruption will last.
The Flemish Traffic Center and AWV warn of serious nuisance and extra traffic jams from the morning rush hour. Road users are advised to avoid the Antwerp ring road towards the Netherlands if possible. You can make a detour to the north via the R2 in the harbour. The Liefkenshoektunnel (R2) in the direction of the Netherlands will be made toll-free there from tomorrow morning, in the direction of the Netherlands, depending on the traffic. This measure will apply for as long as necessary.
This information is also given in the traffic bulletins on the radio and through the channels of the Traffic Center. Road users are advised to follow the traffic information carefully. This information about the real-time traffic situation is available on www.verkeerscentrum.be.
Thorough renovation in preparation
The damaged bridge joint is located between the exits of Deurne and Merksem, not far from the Sportpaleis. The full renovation of the bridge joint is already in preparation. The joint has been ordered and will be installed later this year, at the earliest in November.