Backoffice Techniek voor Ring Utrecht

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Engineering firm Witteveen+Bos will support the Dutch Directorate General of Public Works and Water Management (Rijkswaterstaat, RWS) in handling the technical issues of the A27/A12 Ring Road project in Utrecht. Today the two organisations signed a contract for this collaboration, which involves Witteveen+Bos providing back-office engineering services.

Witteveen+Bos will support the preparation, commissioning and execution of the realisation contracts, during the construction up to and including project delivery in 2026. The adjustments to the Utrecht ring road (motorways A27 and A12) will cost approx. EUR 1.2 billion, and will involve a large number of infrastructural modifications intended to improve the ring road. The goal of the project is to improve traffic flow and safety of the A12 and A27 motorways around the city of Utrecht. In addition, a number of measures will be taken to create a better living environment where possible.

Martin van Grootveld, Engineering Manager for RWS: ‘We are pleased to have Witteveen+Bos on board for the back-office services. Their action plan and case elaboration were of excellent quality. This gives us the confidence that we have brought in a highly competent engineering firm. An added advantage is that Witteveen+Bos was also involved in the project during the planning study phase, which means that they will be able to get into gear quickly.

Among other things, Witteveen+Bos will start working on the specifications of requirements and technical recommendations for the contract preparations. During the tendering process, Witteveen+Bos will support the dialogue conducted with contractors and will keep the specifications of requirements up to date. After the contracts have been awarded, the engineering firm will monitor the quality of the execution. ‘The upgrading of the Utrecht ring road is of vital importance for Dutch mobility. The technical complexity and social relevance of this project are very appealing to us, because it will allow us to really demonstrate the added value we have to offer,’ says Witteveen+Bos Project Manager Jeroen de Leeuw.

One of the more complex engineering challenges is the widening of the semi-sunk section of the A27 to the East of Utrecht. That section of the road lies approx. 5 metres below groundwater level in, consecutively, a concrete shell (near the Amelisweerd country estate) and a film structure. The groundwater barrier currently consists of a combination of a large amount of soil and a watertight film layer. When the road is widened, soil will need to be excavated within the film structure. This requires technical measures to prevent the film from rupturing.

At an earlier stage, Witteveen+Bos came up with a number of solutions, one of which is controlling the groundwater level outside the film. A pumping pilot is currently underway, aimed at helping us understand the soil condition and the application of pumping and return pumping if groundwater level control is opted for.