Take your bike

19 February 2018 11:58

Do you recognise this situation? You are waiting, on your bike, at a closed level crossing, like you do every day. You are surrounded by cars with their engines running and there is a group of excited students behind you. You are waiting for the red lights to go out so that you can ride on at full speed and be on time for your appointment. And then you see a development sign next to the road: ‘This March, BAM is starting the construction of two tunnels underneath the railway line so as to improve accessibility and safety for motorists and cyclists.’ That sounds good! Wouldn't it be great if you could just ride on, without having to worry about cars that pass you at high speed?

Winning tenders through standardisation
During the festive start event for the project, Henk Post, BAM Infra Regionaal director, said: ‘These tunnels will not only improve accessibility and safety between Ede, Renswoude and Veenendaal, but they'll also enable more trains to run, which is good for the people who travel by train.’ This is BAM Infra Regionaal's second project from the Tunnelalliantie. This alliance - set up to build all the tunnels that go underneath the railway lines in the Netherlands - was entered into by BAM Infra (and three other construction companies) and ProRail for a four-year period. Working with a standard procedure, permanent teams and co-makers will increase the quality and price assurance of the construction process. Our clients can recognize this in our offers and in the work that we deliver, and that has resulted in these attractive projects being granted to us', said Henk Post.

Digital design
Arjan Nieuwland, project organiser: ‘Last year, after the job was awarded at the end of the summer, we started expediently with this project. In order to get a permit, the final design had to be ready before Christmas. That was a race against time. Five different parties prepared all the plans and 3D designs which Infraconsult merged together in BIM to create one design. This 4D BIM model also describes the quantities of materials required and the planning schedule.’

‘We first build the project digitally. This enables us to assess where there are risks in the project and thus prevent mistakes. What is also special is our advance digital simulation of the out-of-service period - in late August 2018 - to see what we will be faced with. We can thus show our client exactly what we are going to do in advance.’

Building formwork for tunnels
‘We will start on the concrete tunnel sections in March. We are premanufacturing the track sections that will be placed under the tracks and in the dyke in another location and Mammoet will bring them to the installation site during the out-of-service period. We will then pour the concrete access roads to the tunnels. The project should be completed and ready for use by cyclists in 2019.’

An end to timetables
The Voorpoort project is part of the Programma Hoogfrequent Spoorvervoer scheme of the Dutch government that serves to increase the number of passenger trains on busy lines whilst keeping sufficient capacity for goods transport. By 2028, it will be possible to catch an intercity or sprinter train every ten minutes on the busiest lines in the Netherlands. This should put an end to timetables as passenger trains will be running like underground trains.

For more information: www.voorpoort.nl (only in Dutch) or you can contact Arjan Nieuwland, arjan.nieuwland@bam.com