This project was submitted in the following language: English (en).

Project description

The Ringland project focuses on a complete redesign of the R1 highway system in the city of Antwerp (Belgium).

The Ringland project proposes an integrated and sustainable solution, which implies a complete redesign of the R1 urban highway system, based on two major components: (1) a complete capping of the highway which moves the orbital motorway underground, freeing up the above space for new green areas and housing development; (2) a new traffic system, where the local (urban) traffic and through traffic are ducted in separate tunnels.

Country, Region

Belgium [Prov. Antwerpen]

Start date

January 2018

Estimated project cost

EUR 5600 million


Urban Mobility Projects

Asset ownership


Project type


Project status


Economic rationale / Business Model

Originally created in the 1960s, this highway system is now enclosed by housing development through continued urban expansion. Consequently, the highway system (part of TEN-T) currently runs through densely populated areas within the city (about 500,000 inhabitants), which has a major impact on air quality, living conditions and health (the zone near the R1 highway systematically surpasses the EU health standard for air pollution, and therefore the Belgian government faces EU conviction). Moreover, the city of Antwerp urgently needs additional green areas (e.g. to combat the urban heat island effect) as well as new housing development, as the city expects a population increase of 70,000 inhabitants by 2050.

The expected revenues are equal to 7.1 billion euro in net present value terms over thirty years. Most of the revenues (6.6 billion euro) will come from a congestion charge associated with the use of the tunnel system, while the remainder will come from real estate development in the form of 16,000 new housing units and 400,000 square meter new office space (500 million euro).

Financing details

Financing source: PPP

The non-profit organisation (NGO) works in close cooperation with the Flemish government and the city of Antwerp under the guidance of the intendant A. D’Hooghe.

The promoter has applied or has the intention to apply for EU or EIB financing related to this project

Existing or potential bottlenecks for the realisation of the project / Potential risks

Main Potential risk is related to the regulations with respect to tunnel safety. Studies are being conducted on the feasibility of the installation of (which type of) filters, on tunnel safety and the impact of regulations concerning ADR.

Project additional information

Feasible start date of construction: January 2018 in case there is permission by the Flemish Government.
- Expected completion date of construction: December 2025.
- Breakdown of investment phases:
o Construction of the through traffic tunnel in the direction of the Netherlands (south-west to north).
o Construction of the through traffic tunnel in the direction of the Kennedy-tunnel (north to south-west).
o Construction of the tunnels for the local traffic (in both directions).
o Construction of the city highway on top of the cap (in both directions).
o Park area and gradual real estate development.

Publication: 16/11/2016 | Last update: 16/11/2016

The Commission gives no warranty and makes no representation, whether expressed or implied, that the Project Information is error free. The Project Information is provided without any guarantees, conditions or warranties as to its accuracy.