top of page


#worldtunnelday & 1st Tunnel Asset Owners Day - ACTIVITY REPORT

To say that the challenges surrounding asset management in tunnels is a hot topic is clearly an understatement. More than 60 participants were present in the centre of Antwerp, in the Lantis buildings. Not only was there great interest from participants from industry, contractors and public authorities, but we could also count on very enthusiastic Asset Managers. Practically all Tunnel Asset Managers from Belgium were present at this seminar (Agentschap Wegen & Verkeer, Infrabel, Bruxelles Mobilité (metro), De Lijn, De Werkvennootschap, Lantis, SPW, TEC). During the plenary session they gave a very open and honest insight into the challenges they face. Striking parallels could be drawn between asset managers who mainly manage structures dating back to the early years of tunnel construction in Belgium (1970s-80s) versus project organisations mainly involved in new construction. The strong need to be able to build a digital twin is a must for both in an eventual good management of underground structures. Also, for all speakers, the aspect of tunnel safety (in a broad sense, both active and passive measures) was an important challenge they had to take into account in their coming project plans. The plenary part concluded with a panel discussion.

The 4 sub-sessions in the break-out rooms perfectly matched the aforementioned challenges that tunnel asset managers face today: tunnel (fire) safety, digitalisation, BIM, inventory/monitoring. We would once again like to thank the speakers Heidi Cuypers, Joren Celis, Erwin Joris and Michael Mett for elaborating on these topics in the sub-sessions.

The conclusion heard at almost all tables during the networking drink was that we are facing very exciting times in Belgium in terms of tunnelling. The current preservation of an already large range of tunnels (think spontaneously of the metro network, the existing tunnels in Flanders & Wallonia, the train network) and the gigantic new projects to be built managed by Lantis and the Werkvennootschap.

ABTUS-BVOTS will also have an important role to play in this. The strong need of all Asset Managers to be permanently connected with each other through our association is hereby anchored by making this event an annual event.

Plenty of work, not forgetting the link to the feast of St Barbara and #wordtunnelday. We hope, along with everyone else, that our patron saint ensures the safe execution of all these challenging projects.

Once again, we would like to thank Lantis (and especially Katrien Van Gorp) for the support during this study day. Our secretary general Bart De Pauw and board member Bernard Boeckx for organising this event and Young Members Kang Chi Jao, Maarten Vanneste & Matteo Pachera for their assistance in the sub-sessions.

This event was supported by:


bottom of page