ANTWERP | Procedure for cyclists and pedestrian Scheldt Bridge to be elaborated

Following the example of the Flemish Government, the City of Antwerp council decided to further develop the procedure for the Scheldt Bridge. This is the preferred variant for an additional pedestrian and cyclist crossing of the Scheldt in the context of De Grote Verbinding (The Great Connection). If everything goes smoothly, the concrete specifications can be finalized this autumn, so that the tender can start in the first half of next year.

In June 2018, within the Toekomstverbond (Future Alliance), a ‘fixed cross-river connection’ was selected as one of 18 quality of life projects to improve both the (traffic) quality of life and the modal shift in the Antwerp region.

The city, together with De Vlaamse Waterweg NV, is now further elaborating the procedure for the Scheldt Bridge, according to the modalities decided by the Flemish government at the end of December last year. 

The award procedure and documents are set up together with Flanders, according to the tendering form ‘Design Build Maintain’ (DBM). The design, construction and maintenance are tendered in a single contract and entrusted to a market party or a consortium of market parties.

To research

The choice of the Scheldt Bridge as the preferred alternative to the Scheldt crossing for cyclists and pedestrians caused a number of concerns among various stakeholders: cyclists’ organisations, nautical users and upstream water-related companies had their specific reservations about a (partly movable) bridge as a preferred alternative.

De Vlaamse Waterweg NV investigated these comments in collaboration with the City of Antwerp and Team Intendant and in consultation with the stakeholders.

A mobility study showed that the Scheldt-crossing bicycle network with Scheldt Bridge is sufficiently robust and also makes a higher contribution to the modal shift than systems with a ferry or cable car. 

A collision risk analysis confirmed the proposed bridge concept and the usefulness of the mitigating measures proposed by DAB Loodswezen. An analysis of shipping to and from the upstream companies showed that the bridge has an operational and economic impact. However, this can be partly absorbed by, among other things, providing a removable bridge part.

Alderman for Mobility Koen Kennis (N-VA): “The Scheldt Bridge will make an enormous contribution to the modal shift of the city and region. It will connect to a series of new bicycle connections in all directions, and at the same time be the final piece of a real bicycle ring around Antwerp.”

A number of technical preparatory studies are currently ongoing; others are still being started with a view to the realization of the bridge project.

Award procedure/tender form

A target budget of 254 million euros has been set for the Scheldt Bridge, which is indexed annually at a maximum of 2%. The construction of the bridge is a project with a number of major challenges. It is therefore important to choose the procurement form that best meets these challenges.

An extensive consideration of the possible procedures showed that an integrated approach via a DBM form within the financial model for the quality of life projects and the global market situation is preferable.

Further trajectory

In the coming months, the City of Antwerp and De Vlaamse Waterweg NV will further co-creatively define the outlines of the specifications within the Scheldt Bridge workbench. And then, if everything goes smoothly, to finalize the synthesis into concrete specifications this autumn. The tender can then start in the first half of 2024.

All information about The Great Connection can be found at

On the look of Antwerp

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