Repair the Reyers Viaduct!
 
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NO to the hasty demolition of the Reyers Viaduct

End of July, minister Pascal Smet, taking advantage of the holiday period, has discontinued the just started repair works of the Reyers viaduct, and managed to convince the Brussels government to have it demolished. This without even having studied alternatives and their impact!

The reason alleged is that the state of the Reyers Viaduct is worse than expected – which should be expected after 40 years of poor maintenance! But it is perfectly repairable, for a cost of four million euros, i.e. six to ten times less than its demolition and the subsequent reconstruction of the intersection!

Some residents opposing this hasty decision have launched a petition
to be signed at
https://14808.lapetition.be/
(English translation here).

Say NO to the hasty demolition of the Reyers Viaduct

A regression for the Reyers district

Contrary to some allegations, replacing the Reyers Viaduct by an intersection at ground level would be detrimental to the whole neighbourhood. Indeed, without the viaduct:

  • The traffic, quite heavy (over 30.000 vehicles every day), would be redirected towards the Reyers-Roodebeek-Diamant-Cerisier intersection, which was already saturated. This would inevitably lead to endless traffic jams, causing increased air pollution and noise.
     
  • The access to the neighbourhood would be a lot more difficult because of the traffic congestion.
     
  • Parking facilities, now already insufficient, would be reduced by another 58 places under the viaduct (25 of which for the disabled, the Cambio service and others). This would scare off the local shop owners.
     
  • Some of the traffic would be forced onto alternative routes in the adjacent districts, hampering their wellbeing and reducing their parking facilities.
     
  • Because of the tunnels towards E40, the construction of bike lanes and green areas would not easier than now.
     
  • The construction works would take years, during which the neighbourhood would barely be liveable.
    They would require an interruption of the pre-metro during several months.
     
  • In short, it would all be bad for the wellbeing of the neighbourhood and its surroundings.
    And as on most high traffic roads (such as the Boulevard General Jacques), the real estate value would plunge.

A regression for Brussels

Tearing down the Reyers viaduct would also be detrimental to the Brussels Region and its economy. Brussels is already one of the most congested cities of Europe. This not only causes major time losses costing businesses a lot of money, but it also generates a lot of pollution, detrimental to the environment and to public health.

Half of the people employed in Brussels are not as fortunate to afford a Brussels residence or to benefit of social housing in town: they have live outside the capital, where public transport is globally inadequate: driving a car is their only alternative to get to work.

Carrying 30.000 vehicles per day, the Reyers Boulevard is one of the major traffic axes of Brussels. The Reyers-Roodebeek-Diamant-Cerisiers intersection under the viaduct is already completely saturated as of today. Removing the viaduct would significantly worse Brussels mobility, killing small business and forcing companies out of Brussels.

Huge costs and major delays

One of the main reasons for the increase in the cost of the viaduct's repair is that the concrete blocks at the beginning of the viaduct, which cover the roof of the pre-metro running below, are in bad condition and must be repaired. These blocks have to be repaired anyhow, whether the viaduct is removed or not. So the demolition of the viaduct is not the solution to this problem!

According to early September estimates, the demolition would cost 11 million euros, plus another 10 million for the preliminary reconstruction of the intersection – a hefty 21 million total. But these estimates increase fast: end of October, minister Smet announced a total cost of 27 million euros – nearly seven times the cost of the repair (4 million). So it is quite likely that the final invoice will exceed 40 millions – 10 times more than the repair!

For safety reasons, the pre-metro would likely have to be shut down for several months, since the construction works would take place just above its route and the Diamant stop. In addition, the Villo stop recently built at a high cost would have to be moved out, as well as the pre-metro elevator currently being constructed under the viaduct.

This would be a lengthy process, taking several years to complete. During that time, the intersection would be a hideous construction site with heavily disturbed traffic and severe inconveniences for the district and for Brussels mobility... while repairing the viaduct would only take a few months!

Furthermore, the plans and impact studies for the final reconstruction of the intersection aren’t even started. They would take years, after which construction works would start again, causing more nuisances to the neighbourhood, hampering the traffic... and costing many additional millions of euros...

This is just ABSURD: for the alleged wellbeing of the 300 viaduct neighbours, Pascal Smet, Brussels minister of mobility (and not of wellbeing) wants to spend 27 millions extra – nearly 100 000 € per resident!

The alternatives

The ideal solution would be to replace the Reyers viaduct by a tunnel. But unfortunately it is not obviously feasible since the pre-metro tunnel runs in the middle of the boulevard, just under the viaduct and the Georges Henri tunnel.

As explained above, the viaduct can perfectly be repaired. Replacing it by a preliminary intersection would require several years of construction works and cost six to ten times more than repairing it. It would not make the implementation of bike lanes and green areas any easier than today. It would cause more traffic jams and pollution, which would be detrimental to both the district and the Brussels Region. And a few years later, it would all start over again for the final reconstruction of the intersection.

Any alternative to the Reyers Viaduct would have a major impact on the district, its traffic and its pre-metro. However, no impact study has been performed: the viaduct is going to be teared down without even having analysed the alternatives. Is this responsible?

Until a better alternative is selected, the viaduct is the lesser evil.
It must be repaired as soon as possible, even on only two lanes.
And the tunnel planned under the Place Meiser must be constructed asap
in order to reduce the traffic on the Reyers viaduct during the rush hour
s.

 

Sign our petition at https://14808.lapetition.be/

 English translation here

Contact the Committee For the Reyers Viaduct