Very long traffic jams due to works near Kennedy tunnel


As expected, the demolition work on two bridges of the Antwerp-West junction will cause heavy morning rush hour around the Kennedy tunnel on Thursday. The Liefkenshoek tunnel (R2) has been made toll-free during the works to serve as an alternative.

There were already heavy traffic jams before the rush hour, around 6 o’clock. Around a quarter to nine it was even almost two hours to queue for those coming from Ghent. It also took a long time for those who had to go to the Kennedy tunnel from the east.


The works are part of the complete redevelopment of Antwerp-West within the Oosterweel project. From 20 August, you must drive on narrowed lanes over temporary bridges and roads with safe right-hand entry and exit lanes for 3 years. The new junction would be ready in the summer of 2025.

The bridges that will be demolished will link the E17 to the E34 and from the E34 to the Kennedy tunnel. These connections are therefore not available now, as is the Linkeroever ramp. Moreover, between the E17 and the Kennedy tunnel you only have to take two narrowed lanes in both directions.


“The nuisance is in line with expectations, we had warned about this,” says Peter Bruyninckx of the Traffic Center. ‘There are some busy connections that are not accessible and that traffic then ends up on the already busy E17, where less capacity is available. At the moment things are going even smoother on the diversion route via the R2. ‘

Over longer distances between Limburg / Liège and Ghent, traffic will be diverted via Brussels. The same applies to traffic between Antwerp and Lille. The Liefkenshoek tunnel is toll-free until Friday evening at 10 pm. The works were to be completed on Monday.


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