VenR project A73 tunnels awarded to Croonwolter&dros and Ballast Nedam

Ballast Nedam, together with Croonwolter&dros, has been awarded the contract to realise the Replacement and Renovation for the Roertunnel and the Tunnel Swalmen in the A73 on behalf of Rijkswaterstaat. The contract includes multi-year maintenance and monitoring of the tunnels. 

The A73 is a crucial north-south connection for Limburg between Venlo and the A2 at Echt-Susteren. Since 2008, this highway has had two tunnels in the vicinity of Roermond: the Roertunnel (2,400 m) and Tunnel Swalmen (400 m). More than 45,000 vehicles pass by it every day. In order to limit inconvenience to road users and the environment as much as possible, Croonwolter&dros and Ballast Nedam will carry out the Replacement and Renovation work in the summer of 2023. The regular maintenance work will start on 1 August 2022 and will continue until at least 1 August 2027.

National tunnel standard

With the Replacement and Renovation of the tunnel technical installations of both tunnels, extra attention is paid to system integration. This is realised on the basis of the national tunnel standard, so that the tunnels meet the latest Rijkswaterstaat standards regarding standardisation and safety. Within the project, ten of the more than fifty technical systems will be replaced, including ventilation, lighting, video and audio. The other tunnel systems, including civil components, will be upgraded, giving them a longer service life.

MDCM contract

The contract consists of the components Maintain, Design, Construct, Maintain (MDCM). The contractor will first start with a transition period of six months. During this period, the new combination will work together with the current maintenance contractor. The insight that is collected in the tunnels during the transition and the first maintenance period is the basis for the 2nd part (Design): the design phase of the replacement and renovation. Maintenance will continue during the design and implementation of the replacement and renovation work (July/August 2023). After completion of the 'construct' part, the combination will maintain the tunnels until 2027.

Two-stage approach

This project is included in the action plan of 'Markt Mee in Transitie' and is one of the four projects that are designated to apply the two-phase approach. Project manager Boreas Zandberg of Rijkswaterstaat: “The application of the two-phase contract is a new development within Rijkswaterstaat in the field of market approach. By applying the two-phase approach, we are working on efficiency and effectiveness, the risk distribution between Rijkswaterstaat and market parties is better and fairer, and we contribute to a healthy market and better project management.”

Importance of an integrated approach and good cooperation

Rinus Elsman, Tender Manager Croonwolter&dros: “I am proud that Rijkswaterstaat has rated our plans with an average of 9. Now we are going to fulfil our promises together.” André van de Velde, Integration Manager at Ballast Nedam, is also looking forward to the start of the project: “An integrated approach to maintenance and renovation is crucial for these tunnels and the Dutch road network. With the confidence of Rijkswaterstaat and a great collaboration between Ballast Nedam and Croonwolter&dros, this project has got off to a flying start. We look forward to maintaining these tunnels in the coming years and to successfully realise the Replacement and Renovation.”

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