THE GREEN CARPET

Tendering competition Tendering competition

A RENEWAL-BASED APPROACH AND A PROJECT THAT IS AN EXAMPLE FOR THE REST OF THE COUNTRY

A2 Maastricht represents a single high-quality total product, fast and efficient completion, and more effective and decisive government bodies. This is achieved through:

  • Groundbreaking cooperation between the Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management, the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment, the municipal councils of Maastricht and Meerssen, and the Provincial Government of Limburg;
  • A combined approach involving the Infrastructure (Planning Procedures) Act, the zoning plan procedure and the tendering procedure;
  • Joint approach towards regional development and the transport infrastructure;
  • “Tendering competition” between parties within the market for the best plan complying with certain preconditions and a maximum budget.

Nationally, “A2 Maastricht” is regarded as an innovative project for integrated regional development in the Policy Document on Mobility and in the Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management’s policy for public-private cooperation. Due to the international importance and cross-border transport function of the project, the A2 Maastricht project has been awarded a European grant from the TEN fund (Trans-European Network).

Plan preparations and cooperation with parties within the market

A so-called state Infrastructure (Planning Procedures) Act-based/EIA procedure must be followed for the purposes of transforming the current A2 route into a motorway. In June 2006, on the basis of extensive research – including “A single plan for the city and the motorway: Research into alternatives and variations for the A2 route through Maastricht” – the ministers of Transport, Public Works and Water Management and the ministers of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment opted for a tunnel through the city. Parties within the market will design various possibilities for this tunnel route. These designs will be assessed in terms of their impacts in the second phase of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).

The basis for the European tendering procedure is the Collaborative Agreement, also reached in June 2006, between the State, the Provincial Government of Limburg, and the municipal councils of Maastricht and Meerssen. This agreement sets out all the project elements, rights, obligations and risks involved in the project, and it puts the public parties (the governmental bodies) in a position to get down to work together with “the market.”

The innovative approach to tendering is particularly striking. There is no ready-made plan for which a party is simply being sought to carry out the construction work. On the basis of the programme of requirements, the planning area, the budget and the property opportunities, “the market” is being asked to design the best total solution itself for transport and traffic-related project elements (infrastructure) as well as town and country planning and urban development elements (property). “The market” is being urged to form consortia in order to take part in the tendering process jointly. Consortia are collaborative groups comprised of parties specialised in traffic and transport issues and parties specialised in town and country planning and urban development working together with experts from other disciplines. Thanks to the combined approach of tendering and compulsory procedures, interested parties have two interim opportunities to give their opinions on “the market’s” plans.

Project Realisation

  • A full connection in both directions between the A2 and the A79;

  • A connecting road between the A2 and the Beatrixhaven industrial estate;
  • Improvement of the traffic flow on Viaductweg;
  • A tunnel with two carriageways of four lanes each and full connections in both directions at the Geusselt and Europaplein junctions;
  • Construction of a new above-ground city boulevard on the site of the current A2 route;
  • Property development in relation to urban renewal; more than 1100 homes (new construction and reconstruction) and 30,000 m2 gross floor area for commercial use;
  • Possible extra property, if this fits in with the urban programming of the Maastricht municipal council.

Budget

Alongside new possibilities for property development, the government partners have a budget of over €630 million available to them. This absolute limit has been set out in the Collaborative Agreement. The agreement can be inspected at this website. For financing aspects, see also the Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management’s Long-term Infrastructure and Transport Programme (MIT), www.sdu.nl.

Important milestones

Interim decision on the Infrastructure
(Planning Procedures)/EIA procedure
June 2006 
Collaborative Agreement June 2006
Preferred alternative for making the Beatrixhaven
industrial estate accessible from the A2
Second half of 2006
Start of European tendering End of 2006
Voluntary consultation of provisional market plans Second half of 2008
Choice of best plan (definitive bids/awarding of contract)
for the city and the motorway
Second half of 2009
Start of execution of preparatory activities Second half of 2009
Draft decision on tunnel route/draft zoning plan First half of 2010
Public consultation on draft decision on tunnel route/draft zoning plan First half of 2010
Decision on tunnel route/establishment of zoning plan and start of construction of traffic/transport-related elements Second half of 2010
Completion of transport infrastructure 2016*
Completion of last property element 2025*

*Or as soon as the definitive market plan allows.

Preparation for the execution of the plan

Good preparations for the execution of the plan will receive a great deal of attention during the tendering process. The consortium that has put together the best plan for the city and the motorway will be chosen partly on the basis of the proposed approach to implementation. Measures that will be considered include: 

  • A diversion for through traffic (long-distance traffic not needing to be in the Maastricht area), well before Maastricht.
  • Offering maximum options for regional motor traffic with Maastricht or the surrounding area as its destination, via the existing network of major roads.
  • Modifying signposting so that this traffic does not unnecessarily pass through the temporary A2 between the Geusselt and Europaplein junctions.
  • During construction, the temporary A2 must have a minimum of two lanes in each direction.
  • Motor traffic to and from the city districts alongside the current A2 route will be concentrated on Voltastraat and Scharnerweg.
  • The existing public transport services will remain in place during construction. In the event of the (temporary) closure of a road or route, an alternative route must be available within a reasonable distance.
  • The existing crossing places for pedestrians and cyclists will continue to be available for use during construction. In the event of the (temporary) closure of a crossing place, an alternative must be available within a reasonable distance.
  • Prevention of construction traffic driving through residential streets/areas.
  • Homes/premises bordering the construction site must be safely accessible throughout the period of construction work.