The North-South Metro Line Amsterdam:

Innovating with existing technologies

The North/South Metro Line is widely regarded as one of the most challenging infrastructure projects in Dutch history. It was this large-scale, complex project that prompted Witteveen+Bos, Royal HaskoningDHV and Ingenieursbureau Amsterdam to join forces under the name of Adviesbureau Noord/Zuidlijn V.O.F.

Technically complex project

During the design phase, the contract preparations and the supervision of the performance of work, the joint venture made a significant contribution to this technically complex project. A key precondition in the design phase was the requirement to retain the historical character of Amsterdam’s city centre. At the start of the project in 1994, this meant that the underground metro line could only be realised if conventional construction methods were applied in a very creative manner. Existing methods such as bored and immersed tunnel construction and pneumatic sinking of caissons have undergone radical innovation to suit the unique circumstances prevailing in Amsterdam. By developing these innovative methods, the Dutch engineering and construction industry has now gained an even stronger leading position in underground construction, both domestically and internationally.

Adviesbureau Noord/Zuidlijn made a special contribution to this technically challenging programme, not just in the design phase, but also during contract preparation and supervision of the works. One key requirement in the design phase was to retain the historical character of the city centre. At the start of the project in 1994, this meant that the underground metro link could only be realised if conventional construction methods were significantly refined.

This was achieved through major innovation, by refining existing tunnel construction technology such as bored and immersed tunnelling and pneumatic sinking of caissons, to cater for the exceptional circumstances in Amsterdam. Innovative development of the above technologies has allowed the Dutch tunnelling industry to become a frontrunner, both at home and abroad.

Featured technologies

Existing construction methods were developed in new ways to deal with the exceptional circumstances in Amsterdam. This complex programme of works included the following highlights.

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