BESIX Group appointed preferred bidder in 'BRAVO-4' consortium for R4 West and East (Ghent, Belgium)

Me@BESIX Group Global Local 4 min read

The consortium BRAVO-4, consisting of BESIX Group, Stadsbader, EPICo, Rebel and I4B - The Belgian Infrastructure Fund, was appointed as preferred bidder to carry out the major works on the R4 West and East. This was announced today by Flemish Minister of Public Works Lydia Peeters, together with the management of the various parties involved. ‘De Werkvennootschap’, the organisation of the Flemish Government that will monitor the works as the contracting authority, looked for a consortium in a Public-Private Partnership that will be responsible for the Design, Build, Finance and Maintain. The Flemish Government will then pay an availability fee to the consortium for 30 years.

Minister Peeters is enthusiastic: “The appointment of BRAVO-4 as the preferred bidder is extremely good news for the entire region. The R4 itself will become a lot safer, the residential areas along it more liveable, and both along the R4 West and the R4 East you will soon be able to cycle more than 12 kilometres conflict-free. Thanks to the PPP procedure, we are allowing the private market to contribute its expertise to this project. In addition, the contractor will also be responsible for maintenance for 30 years.
Consortium BRAVO-4 is ready to go to work: “We are delighted with our appointment as preferred bidder after a very open and constructive tender procedure with ‘De Werkvennootschap’. The combined expertise of all partners and the integrated cooperation between us from the start of the tender are the strengths of our consortium. For the financial aspect, the contractors BESIX Group and Stadsbader are supported by the expertise of I4B - The Belgian Infrastructure Fund, EPICo and Rebel, while each of the execution disciplines involves an entity of both BESIX Group and Stadsbader. BESIX and Stadsbader oversee the civil works, BESIX Infra and Stadsbader lead the road works, while Van den Berg (BESIX Group), Deckx EM (Stadsbader) and Jacops are in charge of electromechanical works. We are very much looking forward to executing this beautiful project together with ‘De Werkvennootschap’."

Preferred bidder

A Public-Private Partnership (PPP) differs from a classic tender. The BRAVO-4 consortium contributes to the design, the execution, the lesser disruption measures and the maintenance for thirty years. BRAVO-4 also finances the project itself. The Flemish government then pays an availability fee to the consortium for thirty years.

Marijn Struyf, spokesperson for De Werkvennootschap: "At De Werkvennootschap, we combine all the expertise concerning these PPP procedures. They are very complex but offer many advantages. Slightly more than half of the points that led to the selection of this preferred bidder were based on qualitative criteria: the bidders were given the opportunity to convince us with their own designs, execution techniques, mitigating measures and environmental management.

Start of major works: end 2022

The major works on about 14 intersections and long, separate cycle highways in this agreement will start from the end of 2022. In the meantime, negotiations are still taking place with the preferred bidder and all necessary procedures and permits are being processed. As soon as the permits are granted, the contract can be definitively concluded. ‘De Werkvennootschap’ and BRAVO-4 will inform the neighbourhood well in advance about the planning and the ‘Minder Hinder’-approach to minimise nuisance.

Project R4WO: safety, quality of life and cycling

The R4WO project focuses strongly on safety, accessibility of the region, liveability and the soft road user. A total of 14 existing junctions will be redesigned and four new cycle bridges will be built across the R4.

When redesigning the R4 West, slip roads and exits will be removed in some places so that heavy and through traffic is kept out of residential areas. The reconstruction of the R4 East must also improve the accessibility of this part of the port. Here too, traffic will be able to flow more smoothly and the ring road will become safer. The entire project area will be heavily invested in bicycle infrastructure.

12 km conflict-free cycling on both sides

For the cyclist, the situation will improve enormously: thanks to cycle highways, the cyclist will be able to cycle in a safe and conflict-free manner along the R4. Whereas at present cyclists often come into conflict with other traffic, 15 bicycle subways and 8 bicycle bridges will greatly improve cycling safety. This will allow cyclists to travel more than 12 km along the future R4 West and East without encountering a car.

Minister Peeters: "Today, certain junctions of the R4 West and East are dangerous for cyclists. Separate cycling infrastructure is lacking in some places. Thanks to this project, that situation has changed completely: we are working on a complete network of safe, readable and separated cycling infrastructure."

On the project website all future junctions are explained and drawn in detail. On that website, interested parties can also subscribe to the digital newsletter, so that they are kept informed of the latest news.