Port of Antwerp-Bruges Granted EU Funding for Lillo Bridge Renovation

January 31, 2024

(Photo: Port of Antwerp-Bruges)
(Photo: Port of Antwerp-Bruges)

Port of Antwerp-Bruges and Infrabel will receive EUR 23 million from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) for the renovation of the Lillo Bridge. In September 2023, they applied for a European subsidy for the renovation of the bridge and renewal of the tracks, and on January 24 the European Commission announced it will support the project.

Built in 1967, the Lillo Bridge is the only bridge over the Canal Dock, connecting the area between the Scheldt and the Canal Dock with the hinterland, making it is important for the chemical cluster and the container terminals in that area. An increase in both rail and shipping traffic has required the bridge to open and close more and more frequently, causing material fatigue of the steel and balance structures. By the end of 2019, this had progressed to the point where the bridge was decommissioned.

Since then, trains had to detour via line 11 via the Zandvliet-Berendrecht lock complex and around BASF, quadrupling the distance while also causing additional waiting times at the lock complex. The number of trains to and from the zone dropped by about 30%.

Annick De Ridder, Vice-Mayor of the City of Antwerp and President of the Board of Directors of Port of Antwerp-Bruges, said, “With the approval of a European grant to renovate this bridge, we as a port can take another step towards more rail transport. And thus make our port as the economic engine of Flanders even more sustainable."

In total, 50% of the renovation costs will be borne by Europe, amounting to about EUR 22.43 million for Port of Antwerp-Bruges and EUR 500,000 for Infrabel.

In the meantime, the process of renovating the Lillo Bridge has already been started: there was a call for candidate contractors in December 2023. The specifications will be further finalized and shared with candidates in the spring, the port said. In addition, the application for an environmental and building permit has already been submitted and declared admissible. The port expects works will be completed by the end of 2027 at the latest.

Logistics News

ICTSI Manila Takes Delivery of New Quay Cranes

ICTSI Manila Takes Delivery of New Quay Cranes

Muddy Water Dredging Christens Marlin Class Dredge

Muddy Water Dredging Christens Marlin Class Dredge

One-on-One: Rob Langford, VP, Global Offshore Wind, ABS

One-on-One: Rob Langford, VP, Global Offshore Wind, ABS

First in "Prima Plus Class", Norwegian Aqua Launched

First in "Prima Plus Class", Norwegian Aqua Launched

Subscribe for Maritime Logistics Professional E‑News