Heijmans to realise technical safety systems for the Liefkenshoek tunnel

February 28, 2013

Infrabel granted Van den Berg, a Heijmans subsidiary, final contract award for a subcontract for the realisation of the Liefkenshoek railway connection in the port of Antwerp. The contract concerns the construction and 15-year maintenance of the technical systems for the railway tunnel that links the Linkeroever and Rechteroever districts bordering on the left and right shores of the Schelde river. The contract value exceeds € 28 million.

The project comprises the design, construction and maintenance of a number of technical tunnel safety systems and the control systems for the railway tunnel. The latest, smart technologies that contribute to optimising the safe operation of the railway connection will be incorporated into these state-of-the-art technologies. The project will be executed on the basis of an integral partnership between Van den Berg in Belgium and the engineering discipline of Heijmans Civil Engineering in the Netherlands. For Heijmans this project represents the next step in expanding its technical systems and control engineering operations in general and its technical tunnel systems in particular.


The Liefkenshoek railway connection is a new, direct connection for the movement of goods between the Linkeroever and Rechteroever districts bordering on the left and right shores of the Schelde river. The connection will further increase railway capacity and improve the flow of traffic between the Linkeroever and Rechteroever in support of the port’s growth. Infrabel is constructing the 16.2 km long route that is expected to be ready for use in the summer of 2014. The construction of the railway connection is a public-private partnership between Infrabel and Locorail N.V. The installation of a smoke and heat discharge system, a foam extinguishing system, water discharge and overpressure systems all form part of this PPP project. The majority of the other railway-related technical tunnel safety systems do not form part of the PPP project, but were tendered separately via the Van den Berg contract.