In her advice (Dutch PDF), she recommends continuing the project with a minimum of delay, and concludes that no responsible austerity measures can be found.
Benefits and need
Ms Dekker has spent the past few months investigating the benefits of, and need for, the Zuidasdok project. In an advisory document entitled ‘Voortvarend bouwen aan de toekomst’ (Building dynamically for the future), Dekker concluded that sitting back and doing nothing was not an option. The problems on the A10 motorway and in the public transport terminal demand a speedy solution. Dekker stated that the public transport terminal is already operating at maximum capacity, and compromising the development of Zuidas as an international top location. According to Dekker, huge investment is justified in view of the projected benefits of the Zuidasdok project to the accessibility of both the region and the country, and in terms of the business conditions. The update of the cost-benefit analysis showed that continuing the current Zuidasdok project would generate more benefits than costs for society as a whole.
The advice means that the present budget for Zuidasdok will not cover the ambitions and scope of the project. Ms Dekker therefore recommends that all the parties commit to a one-off additional financial injection, outside the existing administrative agreement. In a response to the recommendations sent to the Dutch House of Representatives (Dutch PDF) and the Amsterdam Municipal Council respectively, Minister Van Nieuwenhuizen and Alderman Everhardt cite a large financial deficit, estimated at between € 700 million and € 1 billion. The government and regional authorities will discuss this in the forthcoming period.
Zuidasdok is an extensive, highly complex project. The contractor is unwilling and unable to complete the work within the financial and operational agreements made previously. In order to manage the situation, the commissioning parties (the government, the City of Amsterdam, the Provincial Authorities and the Transport Authority) have decided to split the project into sub-projects. As a result, the total construction period must now be extended. Despite the uncertainties, based on the latest information, the final package in the Zuidasdok project is now scheduled for completion between 2032 and 2036.
The new working method based on sub-projects (serial work packages) constitutes a fundamental change to the original tender. Continuing with the current contractor, the ZuidPlus consortium, without issuing a new tender would be at odds with the procurement legislation. In the interests of continuing work on the Zuidasdok project, the commissioning parties have therefore decided to terminate the contract with the current contractor and issue new tenders for smaller, manageable packages.
Zuidasdok aims to improve the accessibility of Zuidas and the northern part of the Randstad conurbation. The A10 Zuid (South) will be widened from eight to twelve lanes, and a new underpass will be constructed to divert traffic beneath the heart of Zuidas. Station Amsterdam-Zuid will be totally renovated to serve as a main terminal for various types of transport (including public transport). The railway station area will be given a new, green facelift. The Nieuwe Meer and Amstel interchanges will also be modified. Once the project is completed, the road capacity will be increased considerably, and the station will be prepared for a growing number of vehicles and passengers.