Netherlands joins race to host WTC 2017 24 Apr 2014
Armand van Wijck, TunnelTalk Europe Correspondent
The Netherlands is to join Norway in bidding for the right to host WTC2017, the year that delivery is due of the Amsterdam North-South Metro line. The Beurs van Berlage building, a monument of historical significance in the centre of Amsterdam, has already been booked for the event. If the Dutch bid is won the event will take place between 29 April and 6 May.
The Beurs van Berlage hosted a royal wedding in 2002

The Beurs van Berlage hosted a royal wedding in 2002

Historic Beurs building main hall has 1,300 capacity

Historic Beurs building main hall has 1,300 capacity

The Beurs van Berlage was constructed between 1896 and 1903 and designed as a commodity exchange. Nowadays it serves as a venue for concerts, exhibitions and conferences. It is easy to reach; within walking distance of Amsterdam’s Central Station and situated in the city centre.
The hall that would host the General Assembly and plenary session has a capacity of 1,300, and an indoor exhibition space with more than enough room for 80 stands. The exhibition space is on the same floor and connected to the main hall.
“We want to host the ITA WTC in 2017 because that would be a year in which we have much to tell and show,” said Prof Johan Bosch, a Dutch tunnelling expert who is preparing the bid on behalf of the Dutch tunnelling association, KIVI-NIRIA TTOW. Among other key projects scheduled for completion in the run up to possible Dutch hosting of WTC2017, the highly complex North-South Metro Line will become operational in 2017. “One of our main partners will be the Municipality of Amsterdam, which has everything to do with the main theme we have chosen: 'Tunnels Connecting People',” said Bosch.
“A lot of Dutch projects that are due to be delivered in the coming years have an important human element to them. Not only do they involve construction of tunnels made to connect people in crowded environments; owners and contractors have had to pay a lot of attention to public communication during all stages of design and delivery,” said Bosch.
Key Dutch projects include:
The Amsterdam North-South Metro Line: the new metro line will connect the north and south of the city, which is separated by the IJ river. A total tunnel length of 9.7km has been constructed beneath the old city centre using a mixture of techniques including the caisson method, open and closed trenches, bored tunnels and immersed segments. It is scheduled for delivery in 2017.
North-South metro construction under historic heart of Amsterdam

North-South metro construction under historic heart of Amsterdam

The Maastricht double-deck road tunnel: this project takes the highway that runs through the heart of the city of Maastricht underground in a 2.3km-long tunnel. Local traffic will be separated from through traffic via construction of four tunnel tubes constructed on two levels. It is due to be completed in 2016.
Delft rail tunnel: the majority of this 2.3km-long rail tunnel will be constructed using the cut-and-cover method, combined with diaphragm walls. The project is located next to a number of historically significant buildings and monuments with shallow foundations.
A4 highway tunnel, Delft-Schiedam: this project comprises construction of the missing 2km of A4 highway between the cities of Delft and Schiedam. Completion in 2015 means there will be a direct highway connection between the two largest cities in the Netherlands - Amsterdam and Rotterdam.
Double deck four-tube tunnel through Maastricht

Double deck four-tube tunnel through Maastricht

Three topics have been derived from the main theme to discuss during the event. They all fit within the Dutch vision of underground construction: healing cities, refurbishing tunnels and multi-modal terminals. “We are obviously very proud of our tunnel projects, for which we will have much to show in 2017, but we are also very much interested in foreign projects and curious to see what they can bring to the table with regard to these subjects.” said Bosch. “Some projects that especially caught our interest are the Seattle highway tunnel, the Fehmarnbelt crossing, the Andes rail tunnel, the new connection across Doha Bay and other outstanding tunnel projects all over the globe.”
A delegation of the Dutch tunnelling association will be present during WTC 2014 in Iguassu Falls to lobby for votes. Prof Bosch will address the benefits of a WTC 2017 in Amsterdam once again with a presentation during the General Assembly of the ITA.
Winning back trust in Amsterdam Metro - TunnelTalk, September 2012
Building Holland's first double-deck tunnel - TunnelTalk, June 2012
TBM completes first Amsterdam Metro drive - TunnelTalk, June 2010

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