Realisation the 'Stadsvaart' Project

Realisation the 'Stadsvaart' Project


The Stadsvaart project concerns the section of the Ghent-Ostend canal that runs from the 'Scheepsdale' bridge in the north of the Bruges city centre to the 'Moerbrugge' bridge in Oostkamp. In this zone, full road and water mobility will be scrutinized to achieve the main and secondary objectives of the project:

  • Better access to Zeebrugge seaport via inland shipping. This means eliminating bottlenecks in order to achieve a smoother navigability for larger ships in the short term. In addition, it will be investigated how an upgrade for ships up to class-Va can be realized. The improvement for shipping is being pursued in connection with an improvement in the accessibility of the city of Bruges, in particular for pedestrians, bicycle traffic and public transport.
  • Special attention is paid to spatial and landscape integration, with respect for heritage. The project contributes to an increase of the experience value in the area and the possibilities for quality urban development.

It is planned that the first shovel goes into the ground in 2020.

Within this zone are several subprojects that will undergo a thorough transformation:

1. 'Steenbrugge' bridge

The subproject "Renovation Steenbrugge Bridge" comprises both the renewal of the existing bridge and the interventions needed for water and road traffic in the immediate vicinity. This means that the curve adjustment just down Steenbrugge bridge will also be examined.

The bridge lies on an important access and connecting road between Bruges and Oostkamp, as a result of which the opening of the bridge lays road traffic in the spacious surroundings. At the height of the bridge, the roadway makes a dangerous bend, and the intersections with the connecting roads are also very complex and not particularly safe. The current bridge also forms a bottleneck for shipping traffic: the passage width is limited, and because the ships can not sail straight into the axis of the waterway, they have to carry out a difficult manoeuvre at slow speed.

For a smoother passage of shipping and road traffic a new bridge or tunnel, combined with a bend adaptation of the waterway, is therefore necessary. The precise location and method of execution are further determined and weighed in the study.


2. Dampoort lock

The current Dampoort lock is very outdated, and in terms of dimensions absolutely not adapted to the needs of modern inland shipping. This causes serious traffic disruption.

For a smoother passage of shipping and road traffic, a new lock is necessary. It will be suitable for modern inland vessels (class-Va) with a maximum size of 110 x 11.4 m. The lock should also ensure faster aeration, without blocking access to the city centre for road traffic.

Further research in the study will show which location is most suitable. Aspects such as water management, landscape and heritage values, safety and traffic flow will play an important role in the final decision. An account is also taken of the impact on road and ship traffic during the works.


3. Other measures

In addition to the priority elimination of the Steenbrugge bridge and Dampoort lock bottlenecks, other adjustments along the Doortocht-Bruges route will also be studied. With the local widening of the waterway or adjustments to the banks and bridges, for example, large inland vessels will have a smooth passage and we will also immediately improve the mobility around Bruges.

SBE provides its expertise for the following components within the THV Stadsvaart (combination of Sweco and SBE):

  • Phase 1: Subproject "Renovation Steenbrugge Bridge":
    • Inventory and analysis of existing situation
    • Bottleneck analysis
    • Preliminary design for reference design
    • Compilation of specifications
  • Phase 2: Subproject "Renovation of the Dampoort lock":
    • Inventory and analysis of existing situation
    • Bottleneck analysis
    • Preliminary design for reference design
    • Compilation of specifications
  • Phase 3: Subproject "Doortocht-Brugge"
    • Inventory and analysis of existing situation
    • Bottleneck analysis
    • Preliminary design, simulations and modelling to solve the current and future bottlenecks in order to achieve a smoother passage of ships, with an upgrade to vessel class-Va. (including guidance of the nautical analyzes performed by the Hydraulic Engineering Laboratory)
  • Phase 4: Management and water traffic
    • Providing the nautical preconditions for the study of the mobility hatch or the interaction between road and water traffic in the short, medium and long-term.
  • Phase 5: Technical-scientific support for EU TEN-T program
  • Phase 6: Communication plan
Buiten de Dampoort, Brugge, Belgium
Port & river engineering
Civil engineering & infrastructure
Design study
Infrastructure, water
2014 - ...