SOFICO's perspective

For more than 20 years, SOFICO has completed many projects, thus...

… Helping the economy expand

Good quality transport infrastructures have a definite effect on economic growth:

  • By improving the quality of motorways and national highways in the structuring network, SOFICO promotes mobility, connects towns and business areas, etc.
  • It builds infrastructures (bridges, interchanges, etc.) on the structuring network that provide access to areas with high levels of economic profitability like hospitals, industrial estates, employment hubs, etc.
  • The missing links in the Trans-European transport network, that SOFICO is building on the waterways and road network, provide a faster link between the different regions of Europe and also between more local destinations.
  • Its waterway infrastructures allow a modal shift, thus offloading a great deal of freight traffic from the road network.
  • It helps connect various modes of transport via its carpooling car parks and cycle routes alongside the highways, etc.

By allowing mobile phone antenna to be deployed and managing Wallonia’s optical fibre network, SOFICO connects business hubs and also provides optimal coverage for more remote areas.

…Developing measures in favour of the environment

With all the green energy projects it develops (wind power, hydroelectric power stations), SOFICO supports the Walloon Region in its efforts to increase the production of renewable energies and fight against global warming.

In its various projects (motorways, missing links, hydroelectric power stations, etc.) SOFICO strives to protect the environment and integrate infrastructures into the landscape. These environmental measures are aimed at protecting :

  • The environment: installing holding reservoirs to prevent flooding, treating rainwater and trapping pollutants from the road network; finding the right balance between excavating and refilling when building roads (to reduce transport and thus nuisance and CO2 emissions);
  • Fauna: building toad tunnels, game crossings, bat roosting boxes, fish ladders, reproduction areas, and protecting fauna when up-keeping the vegetation, etc.
  • Flora: planting trees and plants, establishing orchards, putting up protective walls to develop wild orchids, developing wetlands, respecting nature’s cycle when up-keeping the vegetation, etc.

…Paying particular attention to users of the structuring network and the local residents

When carrying out its projects, SOFICO does its utmost to limit the inconvenience caused to local residents. For example, during the construction of the Couvin motorway bypass, materials were transported via the north or south of Couvin to avoid taking them through the town centre.

The various projects are also designed to improve the local residents’ quality of life: quieter road surfaces, installation of acoustic panels, creation of earth mound barriers (to protect from noise and visual pollution and built with earth from a construction site, to limit nuisance and CO2 emissions during the construction project), landscaping, etc.

This concern for the environment is also seen in the green energy projects developed by SOFICO because by placing wind turbines and mobile phone antenna alongside the infrastructures built by SOFICO, visual pollution and noise are minimised.

As manager of Wallonia’s motorways and main national highways, SOFICO also strives to provide a good quality network by impacting users as little as possible when maintenance or rehabilitation work is being carried out. Numerous actions are taken to this effect during works:

  • As many traffic lanes as possible are kept open;
  • Works are carried out at night, at weekends and during the holidays whenever possible;
  • Coordination between sites;
  • Work is carried out section by section;

Lastly, SOFICO uses various channels to inform local residents and users (in the case of road works) of the progress and sequence of the main phases of its projects.

Get the latest news and read about the various projects in the Walloon structuring network in the SOFICO newsletter.

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