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Old November 13th, 2010, 11:31 AM   #4701
ChrisZwolle
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A58 Vlake Tunnel

Major troubles arose on the A58 motorway between Bergen op Zoom and Vlissingen in the Zeeland province. The Vlake Tunnel, which runs under the Canal through Zuid-Beveland, has been closed indefinitely because pavement came up by 15 centimeters in both tubes. Rijkswaterstaat surveyed the tunnel this night, initially counting on a brief closure, but were shocked by the current conditions of the tunnel. The media reports the tunnel could be closed for months.

Traffic is diverted via the N289 provincial highway, which has a drawbridge. The Vlake Tunnel handles 43.000 vehicles per day and opened in 1975. The tunnel was renovated in early 2010.

Vlake Tunnel:
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Old November 13th, 2010, 02:34 PM   #4702
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A couple of years ago the groundwater leaked at the same spot. I think that's the problem again.
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Old November 14th, 2010, 12:18 AM   #4703
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Rijkswaterstaat hasn't put any news on their website yet, but it has been confirmed they are now rebuilding the interchanges overnight to handle the additional traffic load. Motorway traffic will be transferred onto the adjacent N289 highway, which is a two-lane road with a drawbridge.

This means there is serious trouble with the tunnel, otherwise they wouldn't take such drastic measures like reconstructing the interchanges overnight.



temporary exit


temporary entrance
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Old November 14th, 2010, 06:15 PM   #4704
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They have put huge concrete blocks on the tunnel segment as counterweight.




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Old November 14th, 2010, 06:40 PM   #4705
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That's just creepy...

At least the Vlake tunnel is only a few 100 meters long and traffic can be relatively easily rerouted. Imagine if it was the Westerscheldetunnel.
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Old November 14th, 2010, 08:32 PM   #4706
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Fortunately this appears to have nothing to do with the ceiling. Imagine the mere perspective of the tunnel breaching up and flooding everything nearby.
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Old November 14th, 2010, 11:06 PM   #4707
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Rijkswaterstaat hasn't put any news on their website yet, but it has been confirmed they are now rebuilding the interchanges overnight to handle the additional traffic load. Motorway traffic will be transferred onto the adjacent N289 highway, which is a two-lane road with a drawbridge.

How do they get the approvels for such a thing? Is the land also in the ownership of Rijkswaterstaat? What are in fact the provisions in an emergency situation like this?
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Old November 15th, 2010, 12:49 AM   #4708
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Yes, the land is already owned by the State. The temporary roads are within the existing right-of-way of the highway, so it's no problem to build them overnight.

But if there is somewhere an emergency on private land which need immediate reaction, the government can just do whatever is needed. The landowners will of course be compensated afterwards for damage and loss of income.

For example, when densely populated areas are threatened by flooding from rivers, the government can flood agricultural land in order to save the cities. This happened in 1998 when lower parts of my city were about to flood and they sacrificed some large rural polders to lower the waterlevel, which turned out to be succesful. Since then, the government has designated areas which can be flooded in case of an emergency when all regular buffers are full. Landowners will be compensated afterwards. But I'm getting off-topic now...
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Old November 15th, 2010, 01:50 AM   #4709
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I got it in the case of flooding. However it is interesting in a "just" corked motorway.

I see, the land was no problem. But I mean, there are many approvels for any road construction. These ramps were not planned, projected, and approved for that place. Therefore I wonder is there some provisional protocol that allows them to change the project owernight? How long could they keep them for example? Or did they undergo some fast approvel? This is some quick action and doesnt remind me of the moaning on the time consuming processing issues that I hear here .
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Old November 15th, 2010, 03:17 AM   #4710
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The Dutch system of public law aims to protect the citizens against decisions made by the governments. The Algemene wet bestuursrecht (= General Administrative Law Act) requires the governments to prepare the decision carefully, to weight the interests of all parties involved in a balanced way and to motivate the decision thoroughly. Affected citizens, companies and non-profit organisations can appeal to almost any decision of the government. When the court revokes the decision, the government has to make a new decision, which could be appealed again, and so on.

There are many decisions needed before the construction of a road can start and is very hard to thoroughly motivate really everything. Therefore, it takes many years before construction of an infrastructural project can begin.

I don't know the details of this specific project, but I think there is NO formal decision taken to build temporary roads overnight. Of course, they decided to do that, but I think it's not a decision as stated in the law; it's just a factual act of the road authority. Because it's not based on a decision, no "careful preparations" and "thoroughly motivations" were required.

Anyone whose rights (or interests) are violated by this act, can go to court and demand those violations to be ceased and, if applicable, compensation for any damage. That's always possible, regardless those violations are commited by an individual, a company or a government agency.

Last edited by ArthurK; November 15th, 2010 at 03:23 AM.
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Old November 15th, 2010, 03:42 AM   #4711
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I see. I would deduce that they may act like this only when certain conditions are met, isn't it so?

Otherwise it would be pretty much possible to start the road constructions, reconstruction, realigment etc. without that decision making process pretty much allways. The transaction costs of appealing and proving that your rights were violated, proving the damage etc. could be prohibitivly high and prevent people from actually appealing. Moroever anyway it might show as cheaper to solve the problems in this way for the state since many times certain things would be irrevesible when actually built but impossible to make an agreement on ex ante at all. Therefore the ex ante process exists.
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Old November 15th, 2010, 05:16 AM   #4712
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Yes, it's an exceptional situation here: there is an immediate need for a solution so therefore the road authority can justify this factual act.

They won't do this in regular cases where reconstructions or realignments etc are needed. I doubt the road authority has the legal competence to start such works without a formal decision of the Ministry of Infrastructure.

But indeed, if a government does something irreversible what afterwards appears to be illegal, then we have a problem. It can't be undone, so a (high) compensation for those who are affected is the only thing left. If that government knew it was illegal, then it's abuse of power. Voters don't like that.

I know one case where the Dutch Ministry of Defense wanted to cut down a part of a forest which is just in front of the runway of NATO Air base Geilenkirchen, the AWACS-Air base which is located just on the German side of the border. There was a lot of protests by environmental groups. The local government strongly opposed the cutting and made a zoning plan for that forest in which cutting trees became forbidden. They were overruled by the central government (very rare in Dutch politics), a decision which became revoked by Council of State (the highest administrative law court). But by then all trees were already gone.
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Old November 15th, 2010, 02:19 PM   #4713
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Why am I so interested? Well, because I think that exactly this processing of public construction is the most crucial point in any infrastructure construction. Only if the right process rules are set we can come to the most efficient and beneficiary solutions. There are many aspects of this and one of them is the responsibility.

In this case I wondered, if there is indeed a law or decree (wet) enumerating what conditions are to be met to allow Rijkswaterstaat to skip this process. E.g. that huge economical loss has to be preneted, or there is big danger to the people and property... etc. Otherwise it would depend only on the guts of some brave bureaucrat. I guess, when someone goes beyonde someone's competences there are not only legal charges against the institutions possible but also criminal charges against a person that made the decisions.

BTW, did they had to plant some trees back ?
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Old November 15th, 2010, 05:04 PM   #4714
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Shoulder running will be in operation from today on the A9 in southeastern Amsterdam, between interchanges Holendrecht (A2) and Diemen (A1). This section has 2x2 permanent lanes and carries up to 90.000 vehicles per day. The shoulders will be opened to traffic if traffic volumes exceed 3.000 vehicles per hour per direction. Shoulder running will be operational in both directions.

This is a temporary solution, because the A9 will be widened to 10 lanes with a tunnel between 2012 and 2020. (no exact timelime available yet).
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Old November 15th, 2010, 10:07 PM   #4715
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A1 Muiden-Hengelo

Quite a long series of pictures of the A1 between Muiden and Hengelo.

The complete set (117 pictures) can be found here. If you don't have time or if you just don't feel like looking at 117 pictures I'd recommend to start here, as I had a lot of contralight in the beginning of the trip.

Note: these pictures have been taken in august so the situation might have changed at a few locations since then!

A map to clear things out:
[img]http://i53.************/otq8b7.png[/img]

Thanks for watching!
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Old November 16th, 2010, 08:52 PM   #4716
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Shoulder running in operation at 1 pm.

A1 motorway near Hoevelaken.

You can see the benefits, all trucks to the right, and 2 lanes for other traffic. 2x3 is still needed though, this shoulder is opened to traffic almost the entire day.

image hosted on flickr

A1 shoulder running Hoevelaken by Chriszwolle, on Flickr
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Old November 16th, 2010, 09:49 PM   #4717
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There's enough space for a 2x3 highway at this point.
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Old November 16th, 2010, 09:52 PM   #4718
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De Vlake Tunnel

Tomorrow they will open the shoulders of the highway in two directions (today one was already open).
They couldn't say how long the rest of the tunnel will be closet, maybe a week... or some months.
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Old November 17th, 2010, 12:49 PM   #4719
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Some news from today:

A9 Haarlem (Velsen - Raasdorp + Badhoevedorp - Raasdorp)
All appeals against the construction of shoulder running on the A9 have been rejected by the council of state. The construction had already commenced, and shoulder running can be opened as planned in April 2011. The section between interchanges Velsen and Raasdorp will receive shoulder running in both directions, the section between interchanges Badhoevedorp and Raasdorp only in the northbound direction.

N31 Leeuwarden
All appeals (almost 30 separate topics) have been rejected by the council of state. The N31 Leeuwarden bypass can proceed as planned; a 2x2 expressway with grade-separated junctions.

A2 Utrecht - 's-Hertogenbosch (Oudenrijn - Everdingen)
The minister has published the record of decision for the widening of the A2 between interchanges Oudenrijn and Everdingen (south of Utrecht) from 2x3 to 2x4 lanes. All documents can be found here
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Old November 19th, 2010, 05:56 PM   #4720
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Minister Schultz is going to find out if it is possible to convert some shoulder running to permanent lanes, according to media reports. It's unclear what she exactly means by that, I don't think it's a good idea to have no shoulder 24/7 on the motorways, but some left shoulders (de-facto 3rd lanes) could be opened 24/7 in my opinion.

I'll post some pictures of left shoulder running later.
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