The renovation of the left bank of the Boudewijn Canal between the Connecting Dock and the Herdersbrug has been completed. The final piece of this multi-year project is the former transfer in Lissewege. This picturesque place, frequented by many cyclists and walkers, has been transformed into a tourist attraction along the 'white' village of Lissewege.
The crossing in Lissewege was a ferry that connected the two banks of the Boudewijn Canal from 1899 to 1986. The former transfer point has been converted into a tourist platform that can serve as a resting point for cyclists or walkers. A small ramp (a slipway) was also provided for small boats to enter the bank. Downstairs, the towpath along the Boudewijn Canal has been included in the bicycle network. The old crossing is therefore a well-known place for cyclists and walkers.
Mix of old and new materials
The scaffolding of the crossing, which was affected by concrete rot, was removed and replaced by a rest platform. A nice mix of old and new materials was chosen. Part of the old paling was preserved, some bluestone blocks were reused and the slipway was built in cobblestones. The typical cast iron closing posts were also restored. In order to properly protect the transfer place against the forces of the water, sheet piles were placed. Furthermore, there are no more sloping banks. Finally, ladders were installed along the bank in several places near the former transfer so that people can be safely removed from the water if necessary.
About the work
The Maritime Access Division of the Department of Mobility and Public Works is responsible for managing the bank walls along the Boudewijn Canal and has structurally improved the left bank of the Boudewijn Canal in recent years. In concrete terms, a sheet pile wall was installed from the Connecting dock to the Herdersbrug, covering a distance of about 4,5 kilometers. As a result, the waves can no longer cause erosion on the banks. The danger that the banks would eventually break through and the cycle path and the lower hinterland would be damaged has now passed.
This work, which started in 2013, was carried out in four phases and cost a total of 15,5 million euros. The MOW Department financed and monitored the work. The renovation of the transfer was carried out by the contractor Herbosch-Kiere. The City of Bruges owns the land on the transfer.
About the Baudouin Canal
The Boudewijn Canal was dug between 1896 and 1905 and was then called the Bruges-Zeebrugge Canal. This canal connects in a straight line the inner harbor north of the center of Bruges with the outer harbor in Zeebrugge. In Bruges, the canal is connected to the Ghent/Bruges-Oostende Canal via the Ringvaart. In 1953, the 12-kilometer-long canal was renamed Boudewijn Canal, on the occasion of King Baudouin's visit, according to the Mobility and Public Works Department.
Middle photo: Werner Lerooy/ Shutterstock.com