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Old July 22nd, 2012, 04:40 PM   #7701
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Is this intersection still under construction? If not what prevented them from planting grass/trees in the empty spaces? Looks more ugly than it needs to be...

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Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
The Benelux half stack interchange near Rotterdam. It was once planned as a full stack, but A4 has not yet been extended south. The construction of the subway to Spijkenisse in the early 1990s has not made a future full interchange any easier, though not impossible.

Behind the interchange is the Shell Pernis refinery, the largest refinery in Europe with a daily capacity of 416,000 barrels. Nearby are another 4 refineries, including one of 400,000 and 195,000 bbl/day and two of 80,000 bbl/day.

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Old July 22nd, 2012, 04:42 PM   #7702
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They are currently widening the A15 motorway to 10 lanes. The interchange in its current form was finished in 1980.
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Old July 22nd, 2012, 04:42 PM   #7703
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The A15 is being widened. Parallel lanes in each direction are being added, which means that also interchanges Benelux (picture) and interchange Vaanplein have to be altered.
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Old July 22nd, 2012, 07:02 PM   #7704
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A metro ride passing through the center of a four-level stack would conform to my criteria for badass!
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Old July 22nd, 2012, 07:32 PM   #7705
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A metro ride passing through the center of a four-level stack would conform to my criteria for badass!
You can see that crossing from the subway cab POV on the following video from 09:46 onward.

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Old July 22nd, 2012, 08:44 PM   #7706
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A metro ride passing through the center of a four-level stack would conform to my criteria for badass!
So get MARTA on that!
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Old July 22nd, 2012, 10:43 PM   #7707
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I've ridden that loads of times. I suppose it is quite an experience, especially with the ECT terminal in the Eemhaven and Shell Pernis beyond. It's not quite as old as Chris said though, opened in 2002. Strange to think it wasn't even two years old when I first went on it, now it's nearly ten!
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Old July 23rd, 2012, 08:27 AM   #7708
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattN View Post
I've ridden that loads of times. I suppose it is quite an experience, especially with the ECT terminal in the Eemhaven and Shell Pernis beyond. It's not quite as old as Chris said though, opened in 2002. Strange to think it wasn't even two years old when I first went on it, now it's nearly ten!
The Metro Line is pretty new but the Interchange itself is of course much older.
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Old July 23rd, 2012, 12:46 PM   #7709
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How was the situation before the tunnels, aka, with ferries?
There were 2 ferry lines. One in the West (Vlissingen - Breskens) and one in the East (Kruiningen - Perkpolder). They were both equal and, by Dutch standards, large. The ferries were suitable for even the largest trucks and double decker buses. There were large docks with wide access roads and spacious toll/waiting areas on all sides.

When the plan for a tunnel under the Western Scheldt first surfaced in the 1950s, it was invariably planned in the West to replace the Vlissingen-Breskens ferry. Different plans had different destinations for the Kruiningen-Perkpolder ferry: some kept it as it was, others suggested it could be canceled. Initially, it was considered necessary but as the EU began to open borders, the idea arose that the Eastern ferry route could (and would) simply be replaced by the motorway system around Antwerp, making a Western link near Vlissingen all the more relevant.

In short, for decades, the idea was always to supply the Vlissingen-Middelburg urban area with a direct route South. A continuation of the N57, if you will.

It was only much later that the other regions of Zeeland gained in importance and status. We're talking early 1990s now. The emphasis on Vlissingen-Middelburg began to fade as Goes profiled itself as the most central hub in the province and Terneuzen began to speak with a louder voice courtesy of its blossoming seaport.

With the success of the Zeeland bridge and intensive cooperation between the seaports of Vlissingen and Terneuzen (which lead to complete unification under the banner of Zeeland Seaports in 1998), new strategies began to arise. For the first time, a more central link was considered.

The tunnel that exists today, was essentially the logical conclusion to an effort to unify the province's economy. Using Goes as a central hub (with Zierikzee to the North via the Zeeland bridge, Middelburg-Vlissingen to the West via the A58 and Terneuzen to the South via a new tunnel), the provincial government began to push for deeper integration in a previously highly fragmented part of the country.

The positioning of the Western Scheldt tunnel was a huge blow to the Middelburg-Vlissingen area and a massively beneficial move for Goes and Terneuzen (and, to a lesser extent, Zierikzee) which saw their links with each other and with Belgium significantly upgraded.

In the end, what turned out to be decisive was the positioning of the seaports of Vlissingen and Terneuzen. If you look at it from a seaport perspective, the tunnel couldn't be in a more perfect location. The seaports traditionally have a strong lobby. The refound self-confidence of Goes and Terneuzen was the final straw that broke Middelburg and Vlissingen's back.

While the tunnel was an unmitigated success for industry, it was a bit of a mixed bag for the people.

Tolls for the tunnel would have to be higher than those for the ferries. In order to disguise this, the ferry tolls were raised steeply in their last few years. In the final year of its running (2002), the Kruiningen ferry cost €6,60 for a passenger car (single journey). The tunnel toll was then announced to be €5,00 which was hailed a great deal. Unsurprisingly, very few people believed it. In the late 1990s, the ferry cost less than €4,00 which people hadn't forgotten.

The Western area of Zeeuws-Vlaanderen has seen a major deterioration. The ferry to Vlissingen has been replaced with a ferry for pedestrians and cyclists. Zeeland being Zeeland, this is a bit useless. There is no real continuation of public transport on either side of the ferry docks. Bus services are limited and distances are significant. If you can't bring a car, frankly, the ferry is more annoying than useful.
Additionally, the N61 that runs across Zeeuws-Vlaanderen West to East, is known as a death road. It's congested and of poor standard. That means both the Western half and the Eastern half of the region have to travel some distance over a poor road to reach the tunnel in the first place. The N61 is now being upgraded (the Sluiskil tunnel as crown jewel), but for years it was a sore spot adding to local frustrations.

Vlissingen and Middelburg also have reason to complain. The N57 was never finished as it was originally intended. Vlissingen's desire to forge closer ties with the seaport of Zeebrugge has been shelved.

Terneuzen benefits greatly, but the people loathe the high tolls.

The biggest winner is probably Goes. Its location as a central hub has been cemented. Its industrial estates and business parks have grown enormously over the last decade and a half. Its business are happy and its people rarely travel to Zeeuws-Vlaanderen and aren't particularly bothered by any tolls.

Last edited by Slagathor; July 23rd, 2012 at 12:55 PM.
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Old July 23rd, 2012, 12:54 PM   #7710
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After the tunnel was opened, they have kept a footpassenger service between Breskens and Vlisingen. Is it still there?
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Old July 23rd, 2012, 01:00 PM   #7711
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Yes it is. Tourists bring in a lot of the money needed to keep it sailing.

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Originally Posted by Slagathor View Post
The Western area of Zeeuws-Vlaanderen has seen a major deterioration. The ferry to Vlissingen has been replaced with a ferry for pedestrians and cyclists. Zeeland being Zeeland, this is a bit useless. There is no real continuation of public transport on either side of the ferry docks. Bus services are limited and distances are significant. If you can't bring a car, frankly, the ferry is more annoying than useful.
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Old July 23rd, 2012, 01:23 PM   #7712
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There seem to be several bus lines on each side and a railway station in Vlissingen. I'm guessing, and a cursory inspection suggests it's so, that the connections are timed well.

Cyclists wouldn't need public transport anyway would they? Talking of ferries the Hoek van Holland ferry is quite badly connected now, only really of use to cyclists since the bus through the Maasvlakte was withdrawn. Maybe only cyclists used it anyway.
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Old July 23rd, 2012, 03:16 PM   #7713
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Quote:
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There seem to be several bus lines on each side and a railway station in Vlissingen. I'm guessing, and a cursory inspection suggests it's so, that the connections are timed well.
Yes, in theory. The ferries line up well to the trains most of the time, but the bus lines are more problematic already. They also ill-connect to schools and business parks. They are all wonderful connections if an inhabitant of Sluis would like to go shopping for an afternoon in downtown Middelburg (although an hour and a half to cover some 35km is a bit lengthy at the best of days), but it becomes tricky when you live in Oostburg and have a job on business estate Arnestein in Middelburg (where there are no bus lines).

Cross-border employment is relatively easy in Europe these days, but it wasn't always like that. Even a decade ago when the tunnel opened. That means for people in West Zeeuws-Vlaanderen, a lot of potential employment lies on the other side of the Western Scheldt. So let's draw a practical comparison:

A man lives in Sluis. He has a job in business estate Vrijburg (Vlissingen). By car ferry, this would take him 50 minutes (a distance of 21km by car).
By tunnel, the same journey takes him an hour and fifteen minutes, his route is 75km long, and it costs more money in tolls.

While the removal of the relative uncertainty of the ferry services (cancellations through fog or storm occasionally took place) is good news, the rest of it is a deterioration.

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Cyclists wouldn't need public transport anyway would they?
Perhaps not but my point was more that a bicycle isn't necessarily a great alternative for a car. The man in my aforementioned example would probably dislike the suggestion for obvious reasons.
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Old July 23rd, 2012, 03:45 PM   #7714
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattN View Post

Cyclists wouldn't need public transport anyway would they?
Err ? Bike in train or metro...
Great for a night out if you don't want to use a taxi and don't have anyone to drive...

Go to town using the metro, cycle back when it's to late...
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Old July 23rd, 2012, 03:49 PM   #7715
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There are no metro's in Zeeland.
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Old July 23rd, 2012, 04:09 PM   #7716
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There are no metro's in Zeeland.
No ****...

You are correct though, I didn't read the rest of the post , oopsie . Only read that what I quoted.

Last edited by snowdog; July 24th, 2012 at 12:55 AM.
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Old July 23rd, 2012, 04:21 PM   #7717
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Originally Posted by Slagathor View Post
Yes, in theory. The ferries line up well to the trains most of the time, but the bus lines are more problematic already. They also ill-connect to schools and business parks. They are all wonderful connections if an inhabitant of Sluis would like to go shopping for an afternoon in downtown Middelburg (although an hour and a half to cover some 35km is a bit lengthy at the best of days), but it becomes tricky when you live in Oostburg and have a job on business estate Arnestein in Middelburg (where there are no bus lines).

Cross-border employment is relatively easy in Europe these days, but it wasn't always like that. Even a decade ago when the tunnel opened. That means for people in West Zeeuws-Vlaanderen, a lot of potential employment lies on the other side of the Western Scheldt. So let's draw a practical comparison:

A man lives in Sluis. He has a job in business estate Vrijburg (Vlissingen). By car ferry, this would take him 50 minutes (a distance of 21km by car).
By tunnel, the same journey takes him an hour and fifteen minutes, his route is 75km long, and it costs more money in tolls.

While the removal of the relative uncertainty of the ferry services (cancellations through fog or storm occasionally took place) is good news, the rest of it is a deterioration.



Perhaps not but my point was more that a bicycle isn't necessarily a great alternative for a car. The man in my aforementioned example would probably dislike the suggestion for obvious reasons.
Ah yes, I can see that the current ferry services don't give the same journey options as the old ones, I thought we were coming at it from the perspective that they are totally useless.
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Old July 23rd, 2012, 04:34 PM   #7718
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I sometimes come across a bit extreme because I like to use strong words. Let me say this: the ferries a very welcome addition to the province's cycling network which is used by tourists and locals alike for the purpose of sightseeing. The added value of these ferries for the common working man, however, is a bit limited.
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Old July 23rd, 2012, 07:18 PM   #7719
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Zeelands needs to improve some routes.

Ideally, N-57 would be converted into a full-blown autosnelweg and each island would have an East-West 1+1 expressway, especially to get rid of the freaking roundabouts that proliferated in Zeeland like agricultural pests on wet springs.

Fair enough, I understand and agree with the case for traffic safety for roundabouts, but why do they have to be so tight (low radius) and so plenty (some grade-separation would do good).

Then, you have missing links. Let's take a N59 => A58 trip.

On both ends, you have 100km/h roads with modern design (N257 and N659). N656 south of Sint Philipsland is of good design, but inexplicably its northern terminus it not aligned with N257!!! Then, between N656 and N659 (Oud Vossemeer and Portvilet), you need to drive through 30km/h roads with very tight curves, no more than farm roads with basic paving.

They could EASILY, without expanding dozens of millions, plug these holes I mentioned.

Another example: N215 east of N57 is a good road for the first few kms. But then they have freaking 90-degree tight turns over farm dykes between Melissant and Middelharnis. They could easily (no water body, just farmland that can be paved over) build an expressway-graded road linking N57 with N59 there, bypassing both Dirksland and Middelharnis.
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Old July 24th, 2012, 05:40 PM   #7720
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Converting the N57 to an autosnelweg is completely unaffordable considering the one-of-a-kind structures it runs over. It's not important enough to justify the cost. Annoying, yes. But that's the way it is. That's why Zeeland Seaports strongly supports the construction of the missing links of the A4 (Hoekse Waard most specifically). Journey time from Vlissingen-Oost to Rotterdam over a completed A4 would only be negligibly longer than over an A57. The difference is that building the missing links of the A4 is affordable. Building an A57 is not.

The N59... who would it serve? It doesn't go anywhere. Why spend the money on the N59 when the N62 (Sluiskiltunnel), the N254 (featuring a 2x1 bottleneck), the N61 (death road), the N290 (Terneuzen - Antwerp) and the N256 (Zeeland bridge) are all more important?

Last edited by Slagathor; July 24th, 2012 at 05:45 PM.
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