€1 billion Ghent highway upgrade under construction

A €1 billion Ghent highway upgrade is under construction
Road Structures / June 20, 2024 1 minute Read
By MJ Woof
Construction is underway for a major highway upgrade for Ghent

Construction is now underway in the Flemish region to upgrade the R4 West and East ring road, one of the largest infrastructure PPPs in Belgium. I4B is the lead equity investor in the R4WO project, which has funding of over €1 billion.

In cooperation with De Werkvennootschap, the agency of the Flemish region in charge of major infrastructure projects, BRAVO4, the newly created project company, is revitalising Ghent’s ring road, a key artery linking Ghent and its port. This includes designing, renovating, financing, and ensuring the long-term maintenance of existing sections of the ring.

This project aims at improving access to one of the country’s largest ports, crucial for the regional economic activity. It also aims to improve local traffic safety, promote green mobility and improvie the environment of the surrounding residential areas.

BRAVO4 will execute the project under a PPP framework backed by 30 years of availability payments guaranteed by the Flemish region.

The environmental and community benefits of the R4WO project are significant: by alleviating road congestion and curbing CO2 emissions, the project promises tangible improvements in urban mobility and air quality. A hallmark of the initiative is the construction of over 22km of interconnected cycle highways, promoting eco-friendly commuting.

Studies show a remarkable safety improvement for all vulnerable road users (pedestrians, cyclists) upon project completion. Noise reduction strategies include noise barriers and the utilisation of low noise asphalt.

The project also considers its impact on local ecosystems, waste management or water usage to minimise environmental disruption. Biodiversity preservation is considered through the creation of eco-ducts, facilitating safe passage for local wildlife across the road, and through the replanting of trees over large areas.