A4 extension opens after 62 years and €675m

Motorway jams in AmsterdamOne of the longest-running road projects in the Netherlands has been completed with the opening of the last stretch of the A4 between Delft and Schiedam.

The first sketches of the seven-kilometre extension were made in 1953, the same year in which devastating floods prompted the construction of the Delta Works. The massive sea defences in Zeeland were completed in 1997.

The long-running A4 extension has cost an estimated €675m over the 62 years, making it the Netherlands’ most expensive stretch of road. The construction of the sand bed began in 1968, but the road itself wasn’t begun until 2011.

Years of protests against the environmental and noise impact of the road repeatedly delayed the project. In 1976 building work ground to a halt when a member of parliament who supported the road accidentally voted against it.

The last hurdle was overcome a week ago when the water authority in Delfland gave the highways agency Rijkswaterstaat permission to pump extra water from the roadway.

The road is designed to relieve congestion on the A13 between The Hague and Rotterdam, and is expected to carry 130,000 vehicles on a typical working day.

The last barriers were removed by Rijkswaterstaat at 10.30pm on Sunday.

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