FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

The more ambitious and innovative a project,
the more questions arise. And we want to
answer each and every one of them.

The overview below takes you right to the questions that interest you most:

1. Blue Gate Antwerp

2. Businesses

3. Mobility

4. Environment

5. Water

6. Prison

Blue Gate Antwerp

Are there any plans to redevelop the BP and ATAB/IKO sites as well? Whom can we contact for more information?

BP vacated the Benzineweg site last year (activities ceased). We will be looking for a new investor who subscribes to the BGA principles (image, sustainability, max. transport by water, etc.). IKO (erstwhile ATAB) still has a concession that runs until 2035 (just like other companies in the petroleum cluster). They do not have any intention of leaving the site.

Will there be windmills on the site?

The construction of windmills is not on the agenda and is currently not permitted by the authorities either.

Hoeveel bedraagt de ophoging? Waar is deze zichtbaar?

Dat zal vooral centraal op de site zijn, aan randen wordt  zo veel mogelijk aangesloten op huidig niveau. Wadi in groene corridor ligt lager voor verzamelen water.

Will the site remain accessible or will it become private property?

A large part of the site, which includes the roads, paths and green corridor, will become public domain after the work has been finalised. Only the premises where the businesses are located will not be accessible.

Why will the green corridor not be completed in one go?

It is not technically and financially feasible to establish the green corridor in one go. Each phase does however include the implementation of the associated green belt, so that there will be high quality greenery available on the site from the start.

When will the technical campus open?

The application will be submitted in February 2019. Work could start by the summer of 2020, with provisional handover in the summer of 2022. This is of course provisional and indicative planning only.

When will the first companies commence their activities on the site?

The first companies will start business early in 2020. The first construction activities will start at the end of 2018 or early in 2019.

What type of employees will Blue Gate Antwerp need?

Around 1,500 to 2,000 new jobs will be created directly as a result of the economic activity within and around Blue Gate Antwerp. Job positions will become available for highly-skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers. The logistics area will mainly require semi-skilled and unskilled workers, whereas the research & development centres will primarily require highly-skilled workers with a university or college degree. The production businesses may have job positions available for both skilled and unskilled workers, depending on their main business activity.
In addition, Blue Gate Antwerp wants to contribute as much as possible to the creation of jobs in the social economy sector, by providing groundskeeping and maintenance positions at the site, for instance.

When will the industrial park be ready for building and development?

The land in the estate is severely contaminated due to industrial activities in the past. Further development of the site will have to be completed in stages.
Initially, a number of old installations and some existing roads in the area will need to be removed. After that, the site will be ready for remediation of the soil. At the same time as when the soil remediation process is carried out, the site will be prepared for construction. The site needs to be elevated because of the current waterlogged condition of the soil. Upon completion of the remediation process and the elevation of the site, it will be ready for construction and redevelopment. The entire redevelopment plan will be carried out in stages, in function of market demand. The remediation project will be started in 2016.

How will the site be decontaminated and what will the timing be?

The land in the estate is severely contaminated due to industrial activities in the past. In certain areas, petroleum activities caused the soil to be particularly contaminated with mineral oils and aromatic compounds. The soil remediation process for the site involves the excavation and clean-up of the contaminated soil. Biological and physicochemical treatment technologies will be used to clean up this soil.

At the site of the former railway line, the soil is contaminated with heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The remediation technique used for this location also involves the excavation and on-site clean-up of contaminated soil. Remediated soil and lightly contaminated soil will then be used as much as possible for elevating the site, depending on the directives issued by OVAM (the Public Waste Agency of Flanders). When the soil remediation process is complete, groundwater concentrations on the site will be re-evaluated frequently at regular intervals. Based on the results and assessments of these periodic inspections, additional measures that may be required for the remediation of the groundwater will be implemented. Any such measures, as well as a full description of the remediation techniques to be used, will be incorporated in the soil remediation project.

The soil remediation process is an integral part of the entire redevelopment project of the site. Although the remediation techniques required are not technically complex, the area to be treated is quite substantial. For this reason, the remediation process is planned for completion in 2016-2017.

Businesses

Which goods can be stored at the quays?

Our transfer facilities are primarily used for goods destined for urban areas and for businesses located at Blue Gate Antwerp. Return streams (waste materials and other streams) also receive priority treatment. However, the fact that Blue Gate Antwerp focuses on those goods does not imply that other goods will be excluded. Blue Gate Antwerp aims to make maximum use of the current transfer facilities available. All streams of goods, whether incoming or outgoing, are eligible to make use of these facilities. Innovative developments in inland navigation will further increase the variety of goods that can be processed by our transfer facilities.

The activities carried out within the field of logistics are fully in line with Blue Gate Antwerp’s global vision on sustainability and quality. It is therefore not our intention to attract the same type of large-scale logistics activities and major cargo volumes as those processed at the Port of Antwerp.

What are the assets of inland shipping?

Inland navigation as a mode of transportation is an integral part of the logistics chain.  As an environmentally friendly form of transport for goods, inland navigation is significantly less costly in terms of external costs (incidents, noise, traffic congestion, emissions, etc.) than road and rail transport.

In addition, inland navigation is an extremely reliable mode of transportation, which is further enhanced by the track and trace systems that allow vessels and cargo to be monitored continuously. Economics of scale also make inland navigation a more affordable option for the transport of goods, as inland navigation vessels are able to carry much larger cargo loads in one single shipment when compared to road transport.

Inland navigation is also a very safe mode of transportation with few accidents, which further increases the overall appeal of this form of transport.

Moreover, the use of inland waterways is in line with the Flemish Government’s policy on transport and mobility. The Flemish Government recently approved a resolution in favour of providing adequate support for inland navigation in Flanders.

Finally, inland navigation is a modern form of transport that provides many opportunities for the future. Several initiatives and innovative solutions are being developed to make the transportation of pallet loads via inland waterways a reality.

Wat zal de perceelgrootte op Blue Gate Antwerp zijn?

Blue Gate Antwerp bestaat uit drie grote delen: een logistieke zone, een zone voor hoogwaardige productie, onderzoek & ontwikkeling, een groene corridor van 14,5 hectare. De minimale grootte van de kavels is 5000 m².

What types of companies can set up at Blue Gate Antwerp and under what conditions?

When it comes to high-end production, Blue Gate Antwerp plans to attract innovative businesses that offer great added value. Eco-effectiveness must be their guiding principle, and economic growth and ecological added value must go hand in hand. These businesses will be active in the green or blue economy and must implement the principles on which our future economy will be built. Potential target businesses are innovative and specialise in high-end eco-effective production activities. This means that both their material cycle and energy cycle must be closed cycles.

Blue Gate Antwerp wants to attract businesses that focus on high-end niche production and innovative specialisations. These businesses further distinguish themselves by striving for intensive use of space, cultivating a positive public image when it comes to town planning and public space planning, conducting sustainable and innovative business operations, and mitigating or reducing the negative external impact of their operations, such as the impact on traffic infrastructure, the impact on the environment, and noise and odour pollution.

In addition to production businesses, Blue Gate Antwerp invites research & development centres (R&D) to establish a facility at the site, with priority given to those with a sustainable and innovative character. Blue Gate Antwerp targets itself to R&D centres linked to universities, private and public sector unions, and government bodies, as well as to R&D departments of private production businesses.

Mobility

What is the main access route to the site?

There are three entrances to the site, namely the Scheldt river (inland shipping!), the intersection at Schroeilaan and the intersection with G. Armstrongweg.

Through traffic remains possible, but the intention is to have local traffic use either the northern or southern access points to reach their destination.

The design for the redevelopment of the “spaghettiknoop” allows for traffic to be easily handled on the higher roads (R1).

How many additional trucks will there be every day?

The project’s Environmental Effect Report (MER) calculated that based on the anticipated earthworks, 90,000 trucks will be necessary to supply and remove soil. This is of course spread over the whole period (approx. 15 years, i.e. until approx. 2030). Assuming 220 workdays per year, that amounts to 27 trucks per day. Of course the ideal is to make maximum use of transport by waterway. A double-barge pushed convoy has a load capacity of 5,500 tons and can therefore replace 220 trucks. The site is also big enough to allow volumes waiting to be loaded or offloaded to be temporarily stored.

The project MER also made an estimate of the number of trucks and light commercial vehicles based on the planned activities after 2030, i.e. after full commissioning of the industrial site. This resulted in an estimate of 160 light commercial vehicles and 211 heavy goods vehicles per day. Knoop Zuid will facilitate smooth handling of this traffic via the northern node of the project area to G. Armstrongweg.

What impact will the works at the intersection between Hendriklei and Lage Weg have on mobility?

It is an important intersection where a lot of traffic enters Hendriklei. Adequate measures will have to be taken to limit the impact as far as possible.

Will the railway cluster that is there be used for cargo traffic?

Use of the railway cluster is currently subject to negotiation with SNCB. Utilising the track for goods transport is not excluded. Considering the proximity of an operational line (line 52) and the presence of a marshalling yard, the track can be utilised for goods transport with only minimal additional investment. This will however depend on demand from companies based at Blue Gate Antwerp.

Will it remain possible to travel along Naftaweg and Olieweg, for example?

Yes.

Naftaweg will remain open during the first phase of construction. This decision was made after the previous neighbourhood meeting (29.11.2016).

Once the first phase has been completed, new road infrastructure will be available. Only then will Naftaweg be closed to traffic. For local vehicle traffic in particular, it will remain possible to reach the city through Blue Gate. However, the permitted maximum speed will be limited as a necessary safety precaution. Because of loading and offloading activities, it will be necessary to impose speed limits.

What volumes of freight traffic can be expected by 2020?

The project’s Environmental Effect Report (MER) calculated that based on the anticipated earthworks, 90,000 trucks will be necessary to supply and remove soil. This is of course spread over the whole period (approx. 15 years, i.e. until approx. 2030). Assuming 220 workdays per year, that amounts to 27 trucks per day. Of course the ideal is to make maximum use of transport by waterway. A double-barge pushed convoy has a load capacity of 5,500 tons and can therefore replace 220 trucks. The site is also big enough to allow volumes waiting to be loaded or offloaded to be temporarily stored.

The project MER also made an estimate of the number of trucks and light commercial vehicles based on the planned activities after 2030, i.e. after full commissioning of the industrial site. This resulted in an estimate of 160 light commercial vehicles and 211 heavy goods vehicles per day. Knoop Zuid will facilitate smooth handling of this traffic via the northern node of the project area to G. Armstrongweg.

At the moment, there are many parked trucks, and it is not known what loads they carry. Do they carry dangerous loads?

A truck parking area is being provided in the logistics zone specifically for trucks heading for Blue Gate Antwerp. This truck parking will also offer sanitary facilities.

The problem related to (temporary) parking by trucks is an issue that is known to the city and districts. Various investigations are in progress. Among them is the provision of additional truck parking bays, but also clustering of goods streams, efforts to bundle city distribution and promotion of inland waterway transport. Blue Gate Antwerp is focusing on that.

Where will all the people who work at the Blue Gate site park their cars? Won’t they occupy parking bays in Polderstad, the residential area along Lage Weg, for example?

In addition to an active policy to encourage employees to use the bicycle or public transport to get to Blue Gate Antwerp, a sufficient number of parking bays will be provided at Blue Gate Antwerp as well. This makes it highly unlikely that employees will park in Lage Weg or Polderstad, as it is too far away.

Parking bays will be built on the ground during the first phase to address the parking needs of the first companies and for other functions.

Construction of the first clustered parking garage will start early on and will be handed over as soon as there is sufficient demand for it. The technical campus and visitors to the prison will also make use of these parking garages. The parking supply will track the demand as closely as possible, keeping in mind the modal split.

What will happen to the Kruger bridge? Will a new bridge replace the Kruger bridge?

Due to its instability, the Kruger bridge is currently closed to cars and trucks.

A bridge will be built for pedestrians and cyclists later on – another plus point to encourage employees to use the bike to get to work.

Will public transport be provided to the site?

Yes. And certainly now that a prison will be built there as well.

Expectations are that there will be a modal split of 70/30. That means that Blue Gate Antwerp employees will mainly be expected to come to work by bicycle and public transport. The installations of extra Velo stations in Hoboken, which has already commenced, is an aspect thereof.

Companies that want to be based in Blue Gate Antwerp are required to sign a sustainability charter. The 70/30 modal split is formulated in this charter, among other things. Candidates’ attitude towards mobility is thus one of the selection criteria for obtaining a space on the project site.

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Emiel Vloorstraat is already overburdened. How will this be addressed?

This question only focuses on vehicle traffic. However, a mobility solution demands action on various fronts:

  • clustering of goods transport
  • making maximum use of transport by inland waterway
  • efforts related to making use of public transport
  • encouraging cycling
  • avoiding and reducing movements by integrating living, working and facilities as far as possible

Clustering of goods transport

Blue Gate Antwerp provides a smart logistics zone specifically for goods transport. The purpose of this zone is to cluster goods from the industrial area, but equally so from the surrounding companies and industrial sites as much as possible. This can cut the number of trucks on the road.

What is more, an urban distribution centre will be set up in the logistics area that will bundle the distribution of goods in and out of the city. Environmentally friendly vehicles will also be used to transport goods in and out of the city. All of this is about to become a reality. Contracts have already been concluded with private partners, such as Van Moer (logistics company) and CityDepot (urban distribution).

This logistics zone will be developed first (2018-2019), so that transport and distribution capabilities will be ready before the rest of the development.

Maximum use of transport by inland waterway

A new quay wall was already constructed at Blue Gate Antwerp in 2015. This quay wall will be used optimally for transporting goods by water. It will also be used during the redevelopment for the supply and removal of earth and building materials. After the redevelopment, it will also be used for the supply of raw materials and output of end products.

Businesses that already exist at Blue Gate Antwerp are currently actively encouraged to increase transportation of goods across the water.

Blue Gate Antwerp is perfectly equipped for this, by way of a jetty for supply and discharge of liquids. Until now, these have taken the form of fossil fuels and oils.

The loading and unloading of bulk goods has also been taking place via the new quay wall. Q8 will increase its transport capacity over water and ATAB has already made investments to ramp up its transport via the water.

The major financial input demanded for constructing this new quay wall offers the ultimate benefit that more goods are moved through the inland waterways. That means fewer trucks on the road!

There are initiatives under development for transporting people across the water as well, such as, in particular, use of the water bus. A pilot project is underway in the port of Antwerp.

Focus on the use of public transport

The train station in Hoboken is getting some attention and, as part of the A-gen suburban network, the frequency of trains to Antwerp departing from Hoboken will double. From December, there will be 2 trains per hour instead of 1. Frequency will be increased over weekends as well.

The number of parking bays at the station will be increased and improved (67 to 120 places), and a covered bicycle storage facility will be built (from 72 to 224 places).

It is the city’s aim to provide a tram on Emiel Vloorstraat with a return loop for the Herenpolder bridge. This will allow bus 1 and/or 13 later to drive through BGA and along Nieuw Zuid. This option is currently being looked into.

Work is underway on a system in which payment for public transport can be done with only 1 ticket.

 Encouraging cycling

A new stretch of cycling highway will be built, creating a connection between the cycle path along the quays and the Hoboken station. The Kruger bridge will be replaced with a cycle bridge. There will be improved cycling connections to the Jef van Linden cycle path and the district centre of Hoboken. A Velo station with 36 locks has recently been opened at the station as well. When Knoop Zuid is redeveloped, the Roads and Traffic Administration (AWV) will also invest in better (i.e. more comfortable and safer) cycle infrastructure.

Avoiding and reducing home-work traffic

Blue Gate Antwerp will become an industrial area within cycling distance of Hoboken centre, Kiel, Polderstad and the city centre of Antwerp. The Blue Gate Antwerp development will create 1,200 extra jobs within cycling distance. This will avoid unnecessary home-work traffic.

The Flemish Region (Roads and Traffic Administration, AWV) is investigating the redevelopment of the “spaghettiknoop” (i.e. the connection of the Bolivar tunnel with the A12 and the ring road) to specifically address current problems at the Herenpolder bridge. This new interchange (Knoop Zuid) not only covers the actual redevelopment of the interchange as such, but also that of the surrounding intersections, which includes the intersection of E. Vloorstraat, St. Bernardsesteenweg and K. Silvertoplaan as well as the on- and off-ramps of the interchange.

The redevelopment of both the interchange and surrounding intersections will result in a better throughflow and therefore handling of traffic, which in turn will positively affect the underlying traffic flows, as well as the Herenpolder bridge.

What is more, there are three entrances to the site, namely the Scheldt river (inland shipping!), the intersection at Schroeilaan and the intersection with G. Armstrongweg. Local road infrastructure at Blue Gate Antwerp stimulates the use of the northern decongestion and more specifically the junction onto G. Armstrongweg. The design for the redevelopment of the “spaghettiknoop” allows for traffic to be easily handled on the higher roads (R1).

The Blue Gate development will unfold in phases. A wave of traffic will not be moving towards Blue Gate from one day to the next. Mobility will be monitored and adjustments made throughout the whole development process. This will be to ensure that Polderstad, but also the rest of Hoboken, remains accessible and is troubled as little as possible by rat-running. From the start of the project until such time as the project has reached cruising speed, 10 intersections will be tackled. In a nutshell, once the project is in full swing all the mobility interventions will have been made as well.

Traffic will undoubtedly increase. What is the situation then with opening up Polderstad?

We are aware of this and that is why additional investment in the structural improvement of cycle connections and public transport is being made.

  • The train station in Hoboken will come under review as well, and as part of the A-gen suburban network, the frequency of trains to Antwerp leaving from Hoboken will be doubled. As from December, there will be 2 trains per hour instead of 1. Frequency will be increased over weekends as well.
  • The number of parking bays at the station will be increased and improved (67 to 120 spaces), and a covered bicycle storage facility will be built (from 72 to 224 spaces).
  • It is the city’s aim to provide a tram on Emiel Vloorstraat with a return loop for the Herenpolder bridge. This will allow bus 1 and/or 13 later to drive through BGA and along Nieuw Zuid. This option is currently being looked into.
  • A Velo station with 36 locks was recently opened at the station.
  • Work is underway on a system in which payment for public transport can be done with only 1 ticket.

All these developments are provided for, are in the pipeline, and/or are currently being investigated. But it takes time. The redevelopment of Blue Gate also needs time and will be done in phases. This will allow for the interventions and actions mentioned before to be aligned.

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Will it still be easy for residents to go to the city centre, for example?

Yes, various measures are being taken to ensure an easy/better connection between Hoboken and the city centre. For example, the cycling network will be structurally improved:

  • A new stretch of cycling highway will be built, which will link the cycle path along the quays and the Hoboken station.
  • The Roads and Traffic Administration (AWV) is planning to improve certain intersections.
  • Kruger bridge will be replaced with a cycle bridge.
  • Improved cycle links to the Jef van Linden cycle path and district centre of Hoboken.

In addition, a Velo station with 36 locks has recently been opened at the station.

Naftaweg will remain open specifically to vehicle traffic during the first phase of the works. This decision was made after the previous neighbourhood meeting (29.11.2016). Once the first phase has been completed, new road infrastructure will be available. Only then will Naftaweg be closed to traffic. For local vehicle traffic in particular, it will remain possible to reach the city through Blue Gate.

Environment

Will the solutions on offer be in place from the word go? Or will we be faced by problems during the course of the work?

A kick-off meeting will be arranged when the soil remediation works commence, as per the OVAM regulations. OVAM considers the kick-off meeting as the official start of the soil remediation works. The principal, the soil remediation expert, the safety coordinator and the soil remediator must be present at the kick-off meeting. OVAM and the owners and users of the grounds where the soil remediation works have to take place are invited to attend.

The purpose of this kick-off meeting is to ensure maximum quality of and reporting on the remediation work right from the start.

Remediation and, by expansion, redevelopment of an industrial site of this size and with this type of history, is a challenge. It is almost guaranteed that certain problems will crop up during the work. For that reason, the public partner has inspected the site extremely thoroughly before the work commenced. And for the same reason, the public partner has negotiated for 3 years to appoint a private partner with an unblemished reputation. So yes, we anticipate some problems. And yes, we will address and resolve them.

What is the possible impact of the remediation (additional pollution)? Dust and noise while the work is in progress?

The remediation work is constantly monitored by a recognised external soil remediation expert. This expert must ensure that the remediation work is executed in line with the OVAM (Public Waste Agency of Flanders) regulations and decrees. This recognised expert regularly reports to OVAM. This methodology is standard for all remediation works in Flanders.

This is to ensure the quality of remedial actions:

  • Pumped groundwater is only discharged after purification and after checking.
  • As the site will be stripped of all vegetation during the work, dust formation in dry weather will be unavoidable. A water spraying truck will be available at all times to keep the site sections damp.
  • Work will only be performed during office hours and not on weekends. This is to limit any noise pollution.
  • If soil contaminated with mineral oils is excavated, it could give off unpleasant odours in situ. Given the size of the site, the fact that the excavated areas will be limited in size and the fact that the site is relatively far away from residences, expectations are that any odour pollution will be limited.

Any inconvenience caused (dust, noise, smell) will be monitored by both the contractor and the recognised expert. If there is still inconvenience caused, the pits can be easily covered over or excavated in smaller sections. This will minimise any inconvenience.

Will the remediation have any effect on the water level of the polder?

No, the water level of the polder is determined by the surrounding canal system. This remains unchanged, even after the remediation of the Leigracht itself. The polder levels will also be maintained.

Will the industrial premises disturb the natural environment of the Hoboken polder?

No, the industrial site will increase the ecological value of the H. polder. Simply by creating a corridor with verges along the ring road (R1) the H. polder will be connected to other natural areas along this ring road. The H. polder will then no longer be an isolated green island. To maximise this connecting function, the new road will be diverted via a bridge over the corridor. This is to avoid interfering with the movement of fauna as much as possible.

A green corridor of 14.5 hectares and wadis of approximately 4 hectares will be established. This corridor and the wadis will be planted with local greenery. Conservation association Natuurpunt was involved closely with the design of the corridor and the wadis. Maintenance and management of the corridor and wadis will be done by or in consultation with Natuurpunt.

A transition zone of 30 metres wide will exist between the Hoboken polder and the industrial sites as provided for in the GRUP (Regional Spatial Implementation Plan). Naftaweg will eventually disappear and will be replaced by a cycle path (‘fiets-o-strade’). Only R&D companies will be located along the H. polder. The zone for manufacturing companies lies behind this R&D zone (seen from the H. polder). This sequence of a transition zone, a zone for R&D companies and a manufacturing zone is to limit any impact on the fauna and flora to a minimum.

Blue Gate Antwerp is serious about biodiversity.

The greenery (spontaneous growth) in the corridor, the wadis and around the R&D companies must be planted and maintained in alignment with the H. polder. This biodiversity will also contribute to the natural value of the H. polder.

The hydrological approach as a whole has a dual purpose: on the one hand to reduce flooding in Kiel, Polderstad and the industrial site and on the other hand to strengthen the water-rich ecology in the H. polder. The installation of wadis and water buffers in the corridor will thus also contribute to the environmental value of the natural area.

Water

What is the link between Aquafin and the work in Polderstad?

No work will be done in Polderstad itself (only in the surrounding area of Scheldelei – H. Rosherstraat – SME buffer zone).

What impact does the raising of the terrain have on the discharge of water?

Raising the terrain also raises the ground water table. Without additional measures this could result in increased drainage of water.

For that reason, wadis, buffer basins and canals in the corridor, a canal parallel to the Leigracht and delayed drainage by means of raised partitions will be provided.

The design of Blue Gate Antwerp goes back in time; it restores the polder landscape by building canals and wadis.

Is there any chance that our basements could flood? And should our basements flood, who would be responsible for the damage?

The aim of the anticipated work (redevelopment of Blue Gate Antwerp and Aquafin) is in fact to reduce the risk of flooding

The development of the project will also reduce the surfaces that can handle water. Does that not mean that a stronger pump is required to pump the water to Aquafin? Will the Leigracht not overflow towards Polderstad in heavy rains? The project area will be elevated, so excess water will run down towards Polderstad.

There are currently no buffers present in the project area apart from natural buffers. Drainage of precipitation will partly penetrate, but is then transported to the Grote Leigracht without buffers and delays. Buffers and wadis will be built during the development of the site. Excess water will also be drained away in a delayed manner by installing partitions.

Downstream from the SME zone there are 2 pumping stations present:

  • The first is under the management of Aquafin and it collects the (mixed) waste water and pumps it to the Aquafin wastewater treatment plant (WWTP).
  • The second, which is managed by riolink, comes online when the Aquafin pumping station is overloaded. This pumping station pumps the overflow water to the Scheldt.

As things currently stand, the Grote Leigracht has an inlet into the sewer system (Scheldelei). The drainage of this water will therefore be pumped via the Aquafin pumping station to the WWTP. The ‘Afkoppeling Hobokense polder’ (disconnection of Hoboken polder) project will ensure that this inlet of the Grote Leigracht is disconnected from the sewer system and is directly routed to the riolink pumping station. The Aquafin wastewater pumping station will therefore receive less water to process than before.

There will be a shift in function for the riolink pumping station. Initially, it mainly functioned as a pumping station for overflow water, but now it will have a larger share of surface water to process. This pumping station will be replaced by a more reliable screw pump, which has a larger discharge capacity.

Provision is made for drainage into the Leigracht, but it leads to the sewers of Polderstad. Does this increase the chance of flooding in Polderstad?

At the moment, Petroleum Zuid drains without delay into the Grote Leigracht that flows into the sewers of Polderstad via the polder in Hoboken. There is an actual risk of flooding during heavy downpours as things stand now.

The Aquafin project ‘Afkoppeling Hobokense polder’ (disconnection of Hoboken polder) will ensure that this inlet from the Grote Leigracht is disconnected from the sewer system and discharges directly into the riolink pumping station, which is downstream from the SME zone.

The rainwater system that will be installed for this is big enough to handle the drainage of future rainwater pipes from Polderstad, a section of Hoboken centre and the delayed drainage from Blue Gate Antwerp.

What is more, riolink will replace the downstream pumping station with a more reliable screw pump, which has a larger discharge capacity.

The development of Blue Gate Antwerp provides delayed drainage of rainwater. In the event of heavy downpours, this creates a temporary buffer of water at the project site. The buffering is geared for a T100 storm, which would be an extremely exceptional downpour, more specifically, a downpour that only occurs once in 100 years. This buffering therefore exceeds the legal requirement of catering for a T20 storm.

The proposed work at Blue Gate Antwerp and the activities by Aquafin will therefore result in a significant reduction in the risk of flooding.

Prison

Will this not result in a lot of nuisance? Visual “pollution”, a lot of coming and going, unsafe situations, etc.

Just as any other development within Blue Gate Antwerp, this project will have to match up to the vision and aims of Blue Gate Antwerp. This includes image, modal split, collection and reuse of rainwater and shared use of the central parking garages

Will a school be built next to the prison? Why?

Encora SCVO (centre for adult education) and WLAZ (Work while Learning, Antwerp South) wish to centralise their training campus for Hard Technologies into no more than 1 technical campus. The current establishments at d ’Herbouvillekaai do not have adequate workshop space and they are often only available after regular school hours (sharing with full-time secondary education institutions). Because of the growth potential, Encora wants to focus on these technical training courses and, to do that, they need 1 Technical Campus with sufficient workshop space that is also available during the day to Encora and WLAZ. By clustering the training offered by WLAZ and the SCVO, Encora can use the same infrastructure and the available facilities more efficiently and cross-training can be achieved.

The preference to find somewhere to house a campus for Technical Training in the south was mainly for sites in proximity to an (existing or planned) industrial park. Because of the technical orientation of the courses on offer, synergies and direct contact with industry and working life is highly desirable.

The spatial grouping with the new prison site was certainly no must in the search for a site for the educational campus, but rather an opportunity that presented itself.

What is the impact of the prison on the site?

Please refer questions regarding this matter to the Public Buildings Administration (Regie der Gebouwen).

The positive result of building a prison is that a public transport connection will soon be established. This will also benefit the industrial terrain and the technical campus. As far as parking facilities are concerned, the principle of multiple use applies, which means the parking garages will be shared with the prison. Here too things result in a win-win for us.

In all respects, this project – just like any other development within Blue Gate Antwerp – would have to meet the vision and aims of Blue Gate Antwerp. That includes aspects such as image, modal split and collection and reuse of rainwater.