Tuesday 19 November 2019

As costs mount, former minister drafted in to look into Zuidasdok project

An artist’s impression of the finished project. Source: Zuidasdok.nl

The infrastructure ministry has brought in former housing minister and VVD stalwart Sybilla Dekker to look into the future of the massive Zuidasdok civil engineering project in Amsterdam, which involves putting part of the A10 ring road into a tunnel.

The project in Zuidas is facing an uncertain future, following mounting costs, technical problems and delays.

Infrastructure minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen announced a new investigation into the need to place part of the A10 ring road underground earlier this year and said this looks into the ‘use and necessity’ of the project.

The construction companies contracted to carry out the project now say that the original €1bn contract is not enough to do the job and that delays will run up to five years past the original 2028 deadline, the Financieele Dagblad said.

This summer, a number of civil engineering experts raised doubts about the need to place part of the A10 underground, saying that the city’s plans to ban all but electric cars will make it unnecessary from an environmental point of view.

Others say the money would be better spent on developing a new ring road, further away from the city.

A consortium made up of Dutch construction group Heijmans, Fluor of the US and Hochtief of Germany won the preliminary contract for the project in 2017. A final report on the financing issues will not be available before mid 2020, the ministry said.

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