Preparations for the Zuidasdok project are already under way. The really substantial work will commence in 2019. In other words, when all the legal hurdles have been cleared. All formal procedures must be successfully completed before the diggers can get to work on widening the southern section of the A10 orbital motorway and running part of it through an underground tunnel. We’re not at that stage yet.
Noise nuisance and safety
A Routing Decision is required before any changes can be made to the motorway. In 2016, the Routing Decision was adopted by the Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management. Seventeen parties subsequently objected. They lodged an appeal with the Council of State, against the adoption of this decision. At the end of April 2017, having considered these objections, the Council declared the majority to be unfounded. Three objections remained. These concern noise nuisance, road safety and environmental safety. On these three points, Zuidasdok was required to provide further supporting evidence that, following completion of the new stretch of motorway, the related noise nuisance and safety aspects would comply with legislation and regulations.
At the request of the Council of State, the Stichting Advisering Bestuursrechtspraak (StAB) foundation also considered the objections. StAB is an independent, expert party that advises the court in questions relating to environmental and spatial planning disputes. Armed with the additional supporting evidence from Zuidasdok and with StAB’s recommendations, the Council of State reviewed the outstanding objections on 3 May 2018. Two objections now remain, the third having been recently withdrawn. The Council of State is expected to rule on these matters later in the year, rather than immediately after the hearing.
The key question is, of course, whether these procedures will delay the construction of Zuidasdok. ‘Working out the details of a Routing Decision and having it declared irrevocable generally require a great deal of stamina’, says Hans Versteegen, Zuidasdok’s Project Director. ‘We are very mindful of this, and have taken it into account in our project planning.’