Cables and pipelines can cause major delays during construction work. To prevent that, efforts have been made over recent years to take account of every part of the Zuidasdok project slated for development: the renovation of Amsterdam Zuid station, the widening of the motorway and the undertunnelling of the A10 Zuid. Frans Taselaar, technical consultant for Zuidas and Zuidasdok, can rightly be described as an ‘underground specialist’. For years, he and his team have been working to reconfigure the area below ground to enable the construction of Zuidasdok and all the other construction projects across Zuidas.
Loop around Zuidas
Currently, Zuidas has a 10 m wide strip that forms a loop containing tubes bound together, in which all the main conduits are positioned neatly alongside each other. The fact that it also includes empty ducting means that extending or intensifying the network is relatively easy to achieve. This network is known as the Zuidas Energy and Utilities Masterplan, or MENZ for short in Dutch.
80 percent cleared
If work is being done in an area, the City Council steps in in order to add another piece to the ‘MENZ loop’. For example, there has been a tunnel of pipes and cables under Gustav Mahlerlaan since 2005. In 2016, it was the turn of Beatrixpark and Prinses Irenestraat. The new loop structure has now been almost completely laid (see the map below).
Over the last ten years, Zuidasdok has also seized the opportunity whenever Amsterdam had plans to carry out ground works. When the ground was opened up, decades-old cables and pipelines were immediately removed. For Zuidasdok, all this now means that 80% of the underground area has now been cleared, enabling the further construction of tunnels, roads and viaducts. What’s more, no new cables need to be laid in the Zuidasdok area.
Remaining cables and pipes
‘Although we’ve done a lot of preliminary work, there’s still a great deal to do. Some of the cables and pipelines can’t be removed because they’re needed to enable the station to operate’, says Taselaar. ‘The remaining 20% of the necessary adaptations are better done when the contractor has a more detailed idea of what the final result will be.’ The work currently underway near Luchtvaartstraat is a case in point. For the upcoming renovation work on the De Nieuwe Meer interchange, we are currently clearing the area underground for the construction of a viaduct and the widening of the A10.