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Tramway Ramp

The new Tramway station in Ostende is connected by a ramp to the "Ancien Pont", thus giving access to the east coast. This ramp, comprising an earth-slope, had to be framed on its sides by retaining walls. These walls, retaining the new ramp, cut the embankment and thus leave more space at its foot. During the work, the tramway traffic must not be interrupted. Thus hot rolled steel sheet piling was driven, using a vibrator, into the existing embankment along the line of the track. One of the two tramway tracks always remained operational. The two retaining walls are held together by anchoring.

For the architect, it was necessary to establish an aesthetic link between the new tramway station on the one hand and, on the other hand, the "Ancien Pont", classified as an historical monument. This concept was achieved by a combination of steel sheet piling providing both the structure and the aesthetics, and by architectural concrete. The shape of the sheet piling wall represents sea waves, typical for the port city of Ostende, while the highest points of the wall confer a futuristic resemblance to the towers of the old historic bridge. The steel sheet piling lends itself well to the aesthetics of the artistic concept. The surface coating comprises sand blasting, a zinc primer and two coats of a two component system (epoxy plus acrylic) in a colour blending with the tramway station and the vaulted arches of the bus stop. Thus the whole conception artistically links the past to the present.

 Client SNCN, Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Vicinaux Belges (De Lijn)
 Consultant Group Varendonck, Gand
 Architect Jacques Voncke
 Piling Contractor SA Moens - Meise
 Contractor Van der Straaten
 Sheet piles BZ12.1L, 112 kg/m2, 1 210 cm3/m
 Steel grade PAE 360
 Mass 380 t