Tervuren’s historic bridge back in September

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The pedestrian and cyclist bridge on Keizerinnedreef in Tervuren Park is being put back in place this week, starting with the re-installation of the metal columns and beams. The works will take approximately two weeks.

The protected bridge has been under restoration since May 2023 to bring back its original appearance and improve both stability and safety. After Belgium’s summer construction stop, works will continue with the bridge expected to be back in use from September. The €1.5 million cost was funded by the National Lottery.

Works were delayed because the restoration of parts such as the balustrade, wind bracing, and brackets took longer than expected. “These components were found to be in worse condition than initially assessed, a discovery made after sandblasting off the old layers of paint,” Nele Heerwegh from Belgium’s federal property agency told Tervuren+.

The protected 20-meter-long bridge dates back to 1896 and was designed by French landscape architect Elie Lainé. It was originally part of Leopold II's vision for the French gardens at Tervuren Park.

The protected 20-meter-long bridge dates back to 1896 and was designed by French landscape architect Elie Lainé. It was originally part of Leopold II’s vision for the French gardens at Tervuren Park. Restorers have determined the original color of the metal parts and have opted for a light grey hue, deviating from the bridge’s current black appearance. “Old postcards still show this lighter color,” says Heerwegh.

The bridge has been inaccessible to vehicles for several years, limiting its use to cyclists and walkers due to safety and stability concerns.

For safety, additional fall protection will be installed in the form of a discreet stainless steel wire mesh. As before, only (moped) cyclists and pedestrians will be allowed to use it. The bridge’s deck, which previously consisted of wooden planks, will also be renewed after the construction holiday. A metal decking with a fine grain will be installed, in a color that matches the dolomite of the park paths.

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