The Flemish Government has made a budget of US$504 million available to De Vlaamse Waterweg for the renewal of 17 moveable bridges and 49 fixed bridges located across Flanders.

The plan is to set up two public-private partnerships (PPP), one for the renewal of fixed bridges and one for moveable bridges.

De Vlaamse Waterweg, which manages and operates the waterways of Flanders, hopes the partnerships will allow it to clear a maintenance backlog and to improve bridges that don’t have enough space for pedestrians and cyclists.

The contracts will also include maintenance of the structures for a defined term. It is intended that the large scale approach will support standardisation and improve efficiency.

The project is part of the OverBruggen programme, which aims to quickly renovate, renew and modernise the bridges of Flanders. The two PPPs will have separate budgets: one of US$179 million for moveable bridges and one of US$325 million for fixed bridges.