We’ll get straight to the point: you can’t carry out infrastructural work without causing some nuisance, There’s nothing we can do about that. So what can we do? Do everything possible to cause less nuisance. You can read how we do that below.
An accessibility consultant for (almost) all your questions
For major infrastructure works, De Werkvennootschap makes use of an accessibility consultant. He is the intermediary between the construction team and the general surroundings, including tradesmen, residents, road users, etc. Together with the communication team he informs everyone about how the work is progressing.
The accessibility consultant’s job is twofold. On the one hand he provides good communication about the site. He informs the surroundings about matters such as the nature and size of the work, the stages, the traffic diversions and possible nuisance. In this way, everybody obtains a realistic idea of the site. On the other hand he monitors everybody’s accessibility, whereby that accessibility reaches much farther than your own driveway. The accessibility consultant also gives advice about detours, signalling and site organisation.
What is he not responsible for?
The accessibility consultant is not a project manager, designer, site foreman or mobility expert. In other words, he wasn’t at the drawing board, he is not involved in the technical monitoring of the work nor is he responsible for enforcement on the public road. The accessibility consultant is a jack of all trades and well informed so that he can inform and involved the right people. In short, he translates what is happening at the site and sets the responsible departments to work, and they bear final responsible.
Frequently asked questions about Minder-Hinder
Utilities: who, how and why?
Utility companies are responsible for distributing gas, water, electricity, telephone, internet or street lighting. You should think of companies such as Fluvius, De Watergroep or Telenet and Proximus. Before the main works get under way, they reposition (and renew) the cables and pipes to the outside edge of the public area. In this way, they literally make room for laying new sewerage and road infrastructure.
The utilities work at their own expense. In other words, they are themselves responsible for the work, the site organisation and the placing and monitoring of the signalling. This includes the communication with the residents. Utility companies must inform everyone in the vicinity about the accessibility or about the lack of utility supply while the houses are being connected.
De Werkvennootschap will generally also start active communications about the start and the progress of the utility works, but is not the site manager for this preparatory work.
Will my house always be accessible by car?
That’s the million dollar question. The guiding principle is that homes should be as accessible as possible. And that’s still the case by bike or on foot. At the end of the work day and during the weekends, the contractor makes sure that the driveway is accessible, unless agreed otherwise He closes holes and ditches with less nuisance gravel or lays planks. This is the job of the contractor and is described as such in the specifications.
There are, however, times when access by car will not be possible. For example when the contractor digs a ditch (sewers or utility cables), pours the straight elements or lays the foundations or top layer. The disruption can vary from one day to more than a week, depending on the work and the choice of materials. A road surface in asphalt is ready for use after a day while a concrete road must be allowed to harden for much longer.
Communication and mutual understanding are central here. Residents will be informed as fully as possible about accessibility during the road works, but at the same time they are expected to show some understanding for any possible nuisance.
How do you organise waste collection during the road works?
The waste collection is always guaranteed. The waste collection calendar will generally remain unchanged.
The collection can be arranged differently depending on the nature of the road works. Much will depend on whether the refuse collection truck is able to enter the street where the works are taking place. If that is the case, you place your refuse outdoors as usual, if necessary on the side where no work is taking place.
If the road is inaccessible, we ask the residents to place their refuse bins on the corner of the street. We will communicate these matters clearly and well in advance to the residents in the work area.
When will your contractor be working?
The hours in which a contractor may work are set in the police regulations. These differ per municipality. But generally, work may take place between 7.00 am and 10.00 pm. If the contractor deems it necessary to deviate from this, he must request permission from the municipal council. Residents will then be informed accordingly.
You should take into account the fact that the labourers generally arrive earlier at the site, from around 6.30 am. They get ready for work and load up materials for starting the work day. The noise of machines and vibrations shall generally not occur before 7.00 am.
How do you keep the neighbourhood clean?
First and foremost, the contractor will ensure that he closes down the site neatly at the end of the day and will make sure no material is left hanging around. For example, if there is intensive digging work and there is wet weather, the site vehicles will be cleaned when they leave the site. At regular intervals, road sweeping machines will clear the road. It is not, however, usual to intensively clean all the houses and roads.
I have damage. What now?
The chance of dents or bumps is not unthinkable. There can be physical injury, but also damage to a vehicle or house (and everything surrounding it). If you think this has been caused by the road works, you can claim damages from the other party. In principle, that is always the contractor responsible. He is obliged to take out the necessary insurance (CAR insurance).
In order to claim compensation, you must put together a good file. You should if necessary contact the police so that they can draw up an official report. If that doesn’t succeed or if it is not necessary, then make sure you have sufficient evidence yourself (photos). In addition, it may be best to contact your own insurance company who will offer you assistance. The settlement of the file will then take place between the companies of the parties involved.
Please remember that we are always open for dialogue. Do not hesitate to visit the site office or to contact the accessibility consultant for possible direct (amicable) agreements.
Can the emergency services always reach my house?
The emergency services will always receive the signalling and site plans so that they know which road works are being carried out where. They can then adjust their access routes accordingly.
Together for greater safety on the site. How?
Some ground rules:
- If you don’t have to be in the work area, stay away if possible.
- Maintain sufficient distance from machinery, pay particular attention to holes and keep away from the turning circle of the site vehicles.
- Respect the traffic signs: obey them and do not move them.
- Listen where necessary to the site management and follow their instructions.