The contract to build the 1,800m-long Scheldt tunnel in Belgium has been awarded to a consortium of Besix, BAM, DEME and Jan De Nul.
The consortium, known as Tijdelijke Handelsvereniging Combinatie Oosterweeltunnel (THV COTU), will begin preparatory work on the €570 million project in the autumn.
Running beneath the Scheldt river in Antwerp, the tunnel will become a major element of the Oosterweel Link project being developed by Lantis. The project will close the R1 ring road around Antwerp adding to the efficiency of the European Union’s TEN-T transportation network.
The tunnel will have two tubes for motorway traffic and a separate tube for cyclists and pedestrians.
Jan De Nul has announced that the team will use the immersed tube method of construction for the tunnel.
A total of eight elements, each weighing approximately 60,000 tonnes, will be constructed in the port of Zeebrugge, before being towed by barge to Antwerp, where they will be sunk, settling into a pre-dredged trench in the river.
In its press release, Jan De Nul said, “THV COTU is well aware of the challenges that such a project brings with it in a technically difficult environment such as the Scheldt in Antwerp. But the partners are confident that they have the necessary expertise and decades of experience to successfully achieve the realisation of this vital stage of the Oosterweel link project.”
The consortium plans to start construction work on the tunnel by the summer of 2021.