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Energy-neutral motorway will unblock traffic congestion

  • 11-kilometre-long motorway with tunnel
  • Entirely energy neutral
  • 20-year maintenance period

Traffic congestion clogs the A13 motorway and the A20 near Rotterdam almost every day. To improve access to and quality of life in Rotterdam and the surrounding region, De Groene Boog consortium are constructing an 11-kilomtre-long motorway between the A16 at Terbregseplein and the A13 at Rotterdam The Hague Airport. The client is Rijkswaterstaat, the government agency responsible for the design, construction, management and maintenance of the Netherlands’ main physical infrastructure. The road, including semi-immersed tunnel, will be situated on the northeast periphery of Rotterdam. The design means that the new motorway will be better integrated into the landscape than most other national trunk roads in the Netherlands. De Groene Boog consortium consists of BESIX, Dura Vermeer, John Laing, Rebel, Van Oord and TBI subsidiaries Croonwolter&Dros and Mobilis.


I'm very proud that we are going to construct this new national motorway, because it's a splendid example of a motorway designed to fit in with its urban and natural environs. Constructing a brand-new road like this in a busy and dynamic region always calls for a team effort. The consortium, regional partners and Rijkswaterstaat are all working together on this.

Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management
Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management

Solar energy

The motorway construction project is a major undertaking that involves adapting existing roads and junctions and building a semi-immersed tunnel. The project is exceptional for seeking out innovative solutions, for example making the motorway energy-neutral. Once this new section of the A16 is in use, solar panels will generate all the energy required to operate the roadside and tunnel lighting systems and other installations.


It gives me great pride that the A16 Rotterdam project received a Sustainable Pearl Award in January 2020. The award is for civil engineering projects that find unique ways to apply sustainability principles. Our team received the award because we are devoting ample attention to sustainability.

Richard Brouwer, Director, Netherlands Business Unit
Richard Brouwer, Director, Netherlands Business Unit

Carbon emissions kept to a minimum

One example of the sustainability measures adopted on the A16 project is the tunnel, which – like the rest of the motorway – will be energy-neutral. The energy needed to maintain the road and the tunnel will be generated by the road itself using solar panels. The project’s solar panels, LED lighting, electric transport and hybrid equipment will all help to minimise carbon emissions.

Avoiding nuisance as much as possible

It is crucial to bear the surroundings in mind in a project of this kind. Various steps have been taken to minimise disruption for local residents. These include building a service road for project related traffic along the entire route so that they remain separate from regular traffic. On completion, noise-reducing asphalt, noise barriers, earth embankments and other measures will help minimise the noise pollution caused by the new A16.


Role for subsidiaries

Van Oord is responsible for depositing a total of about 4 million cubic metres of sand. Van Oord Grondstoffen is seeing to the necessary transport. The sand is being sourced from Lake Markermeer within the context of the Markerwadden Channel project. From there, it is shipped to 4 unloading sites, where trucks are waiting to transport it to the project site. Van Oord's ground treatment subsidiary Wicks is installing vertical drains across the entire the project route. The drains will speed up soil consolidation and allow construction of the new motorway to start on schedule.


Additional information
  • Start date
    Early 2019
  • End date
    Late 2024
  • Location
    Rotterdam and Lansingerland
  • Business Unit
  • Client