The non-profit association Ringland asked OMGEVING to assess the concept of covering the Antwerp ring road in terms of its feasibility and to further refine the idea. Ringland’s proposal is to build two separate tunnels for each direction of traffic (with multiple lanes) and to invert the present underlying logic. They propose that vehicles continuing on the road use the outer tunnels while traffic to and from the city uses the inner tunnels. The outer tunnels link to the highways and the inner ones connect to Nieuwe Singel road, which is located on top of the tunnels.
OMGEVING’s study was more than just a mobility study, and it involved a quest for a robust system that anticipates to the largest possible extent the spatial context, and thus charts the spatial impact and the feasibility of the new road infrastructure. The study provided an understanding of how the mobility system works in the various tunnels, both those connecting to the highways and to the city. It also provided guidelines on the maximum speed limits, the incorporation of the European Tunnel Directive and what the interchanges may look like. The plan also demonstrated what the opportunities are for urban development at a central location in Antwerp where it is presently inconceivable to live, work, visit or engage in recreation. It placed the focus on how we hope to deal with mobility and urban living in the future.