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Viaduct Vilvoorde renovation

  • Location: VILVOORDE [BE]
  • Period: 2021 - 2031
  • GOLD - Smart Innovation Award - Belgian Construction Awards
  • Duration of the renovation work by the contractor
    Until 2031
  • Start of remediation and renovation by the contractor
    August 2023
  • Start of asbestos removal by the contractor
    August 2023
  • Study phase by the contractor
    2021 – 2023
  • Start of consulting assignment by DWV
    March 2021
  • Recalculations and reinforcement design for a contractor in the context of the D&C assignment
    May 2019
  • Viaduct Vilvoorde - north
  • Viaduct Vilvoorde - south

Viaduct Vilvoorde, one of Belgium’s iconic bridges, is part of the Ring around Brussels (R0) and it is located on the territory of the Vilvoorde and Machelen municipalities. A ‘Viaduct Vilvoorde’ assignment is currently underway on behalf of De Werkvennootschap, which consists of the following parts:

  • Part of the study activities
  • Part of the asbestos treatment
  • Part of the remediation and reinforcement works

The goal is to reinforce the engineering structure to achieve a lifespan until 2078 and to provide an additional lane (in both directions). SBE was awarded the independent consulting assignment by De Werkvennootschap within the framework of this project to assist De Werkvennootschap in this project.

Technical assistance

SBE has been implementing the Framework Agreement for technical assistance under the ‘Viaduct Vilvoorde’ Design & Build assignment of De Werkvennootschap NV since March 2021. SBE uses the following subcontractors for this assignment: MINT, Royal Haskoning DHV, Sanacon and UGent.

The assignment involves consultancy and assistance in terms of implementation of the study activities, as well as remediation and reinforcement works.

Viaduct Vilvoorde


The viaduct was built in 1976. The outer ring, the north section, and inner ring, the south section, are separate and independent of each other.
Both have a width of 20 m and are composed of four different viaduct sections with a combined length of about 1,700 m:

  • Part A: steel-concrete composite bridge (288 m)
  • Part B: hyperstatic steel box girder bridge (888 m)
  • Part C: steel-concrete composite bridge (400 m)
  • Part D: hyperstatic post-tensioned concrete box girder bridge (130 m)

Fatigue assessment

SBE conducted a study in 2018 to assess fatigue issues at Viaduct Vilvoorde and other similar engineering structures. SBE used EE software Ansys for this purpose, among others, and a post-processing tool that was developed in-house. The road surface was analyzed under various time- and temperature-dependent parameters to be considered, e.g. temperature-dependent load distribution of the asphalt layers and time-dependent traffic simulations.

An understanding of the arithmetic (residual) lifespan of the orthotropic deck and its connections of the brackets and cross beams to the body of the box girder was obtained from this study. Details in the driving deck were found to be over their arithmetic limit, for example. Based on these results, targeted follow-up steps could be proposed and implemented to improve the condition.

In addition to this study of the arithmetic (residual) lifespan of the orthotropic deck, all viaduct sections (superstructures and substructures) had to be studied in accordance with current standards and requirements.

Responsibilities SBE

  • Follow up and/or advice on performing fatigue studies and calculations
  • Follow up and/or advice on strength calculations
  • Follow up and/or advice on the implementation of the concrete study
  • Follow up and/or advice on phasing, lesser disruption measures and site planning
  • Follow-up and/or advice on remediation and reinforcement works
  • Follow up and/or advice on concrete repair and steel repair work
  • Follow up and/or advice on asphalting works
  • Follow up and/or advice on the application of High Strength Concrete (HSC)
  • Follow up and/or advice on stability (SBE calculations)
  • Cost control and preparation and/or verification of submitted estimates
  • Advice on strain measurements
  • Digital twin advice
  • Miscellaneous quality advice

From the media on the topic:

  • 2021 – Watch the report from the VRT program “Weet ik veel” here
  • 8/08/23 – Renovatie Viaduct van Villvoorde gestart: 8 jaar hinder op Brusselse Ring (Renovation of Viaduct Vilvoorde started: 8 years of disruption on Brussels Ring Road). Read the report from Het Laatste Nieuws here.
  • 8/09/2023 – Acht jaar durende werken aan viaduct van Vilvoorde gaan van start: wat zullen de gevolgen zijn op de weg? (Eight-year work on Viaduct Vilvoorde begins: what will be the impact on the road?). Read the Gazet van Antwerpen here.
  • 8/09/2023 – La rénovation du viaduc de Vilvoorde a commencé (Renovation of the Viaduct Vilvoorde has started). Article on DHnet here.
  • 8/10/2023 – Werken aan viaduct Vilvoorde van start (Work on Viaduct Vilvoorde begins). Read the article from De Standaard here.

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