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Key projects include the North-South Link, with tunnel works starting in 2026, and significant investments in cycling infrastructure, including new cycle paths, tunnels and bridges.

Flemish Minister Lydia Peeters has achieved impressive results for the province of Limburg during her legislature. Under her policy as Flemish Minister of Mobility and Public Works, the region has received more than 2,2 billion euros in investment resources. This substantial increase in funding marks a historic shift for Limburg, which received only 368 million euros in investments in the previous legislature. “Historically, the province of Limburg has often been under-resourced in terms of Flemish investments in mobility and infrastructure works. As promised, I changed this at the start of this legislature," said Peeters.

NZL

One of the most striking projects under Peeters' leadership is the North-South connection in Limburg. The Flemish Government recently approved the Draft Project Decision NZL - Phase 1. This decision follows two years after the route decision and means that the detailed plans and permits are now ready. “That is the result of intensive collaboration between many parties. The implementation will take place via a Public-Private Partnership and a DBFM contract. It will be a sustainable mobility project that will serve as a lever and catalyst for Limburg,” Peeters stated. The tunnel works are scheduled to start in 2026.

Lydia Peeters also has big steps in the field of cycling infrastructure. During her legislature, more than 217 million euros were invested in cycling infrastructure in Limburg, with a further 35 million euros planned for 2024. Projects such as the widening of cycle paths along the Grote Baan in Houthalen-Helchteren and the N76 in Kortessem-Wellen-Borgloon have been completed . Current projects include the cycle paths along the N730 Asserweg in Zutendaal and the N722 in Alken. In addition, new bicycle tunnels and bridges have contributed to safe intersections, such as the bicycle tunnel under the Bilzersteenweg N730 in Tongeren and the bicycle bridge over the Grote Baan in Helchteren-Noord.

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Photo: Minister Lydia Peeters and VSV launch a new campaign.

The focus on road safety is another important aspect of Peeters' policy. 3,3 million euros were invested in the safety of school environments and routes in Limburg. This amount has contributed to increased road safety in 252 school environments and on 28 school routes. In addition, 117 bottlenecks on school routes have been addressed, and another 10 projects are in progress or planned. The Mobility Innovative Approach (MIA) project has also contributed 9,6 million euros to improving road safety through technologies such as drones and cameras.

maintenance

Peeters also focused on the maintenance backlog of bridges in Flanders. Since 2020, 109 bridges have already been renovated, and work is underway or in preparation for 104 bridges. In Limburg, the Boorsem viaduct in Maasmechelen was renovated, and renovations are planned for seven bridges between 2026 and 2028 within the PPP project 'OverBruggen'. 133 million euros was allocated for regular maintenance of regional and motorways, cycle paths and verges, of which 36 million euros specifically for Limburg.

The province of Limburg has also seen significant improvements on the E313, with the construction of 7 kilometers of rush-hour lanes and noise reduction measures. At the beginning of June, work started on a rush-hour lane from Lummen to Hasselt-West, representing an investment of almost 32 million euros. For 2024, 5,8 million euros have also been reserved for the installation of 2 kilometers of noise barriers along the E314 in Genk.

The HOV project for a tram bus connection between Hasselt, Diepenbeek campus, Genk and Maasmechelen is progressing steadily. The first 17 electric tram buses have been ordered and will be delivered in the autumn of 2024. In the meantime, three crucial sections of free bus lane have already been opened and work has started on the terminus in Terhills in Maasmechelen. The redevelopment of the 2025de Liniestraat will start in 11 with an investment of more than 20 million euros.

The line

Under Peeters' policy, the greening of De Lijn's bus fleet has been initiated. In addition, work has been done on expanding the network of Hoppin points, with 75 of these points in Limburg. Furthermore, highway car parks have been constructed, such as those at the Tongeren entrance and exit complex, and work has started on the highway car parks along both sides of the E313 in Diepenbeek, which should be completed by the end of 2024.

Peeters has exceeded its objectives in the field of charging infrastructure. The province of Limburg currently has 4814 charging points, and there are 41.105 charging equivalents (CPE) throughout Flanders. The objective of having (ultra) fast charging infrastructure every 25 km along highways and major traffic routes has also been achieved.

By making additional resources available, the bridges over the Albert Canal were raised, allowing 4-layer container ships to sail to and from the port of Antwerp. This project has not only made water transport more profitable, but also improved the road infrastructure.

Despite the fact that Flanders is not competent for the railways, Peeters has been able to electrify the Hasselt-Mol route through co-investments. This means that the entire Limburg rail network is now electric, an important milestone for the region.

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