Preparatory work for the reconstruction of the road tunnel of Leopold II in Brussels caused a rush hour of suffering for tens of thousands of drivers who tried to get to Brussels from the West. Commuters on the Brussels-bound E40 motorway needed a lot of patience with delays of as much as one and a half hours on the motorway between Aalst (East Flanders) and Groot-Bijgaarden (Flemish Brabant).
Many alternative routes used by commuters in the Pajottenland region in the West of Flemish Brabant.
From Saturday 30 June at 10pm the longest road tunnel on Brussels inner ring road will close for a thorough renovation. The tunnel will remain closed until 1 September. As well as being used for local traffic the tunnel is used by many commuters from East and West Flanders and the West of Flemish Brabant as it forms part of the road link between the centre of Brussels and the coast-bound section of the E40.
For the duration of the work drivers coming to Brussels from the west are advised to enter the city via the orbital motorway/A12 motorway or to take the orbital motorway to the Anderlecht-Industrie junction and take the Industrielaan to drive into town.
The Brussels Transport Minister Pascal Smet (Flemish socialist) told VRT News that “The tunnel is at the end of its life. Everything is worn out. For safety reasons everything is being redone. The lights and the ventilation are being renewed, asbestos is being removed and extra emergency exits are being built”.