Interview Peter van Wijk and Hans Dorsman: Approaching the new terminal in the future

Having a new terminal means having a new drop-off road. To ensure that we can use the departure halls in 2023, the road is being built now. Joint responsibility for this lies with project manager Peter van Wijk of Schiphol and field engineering manager Hans Dorsman of Royal HaskoningDHV. And it is something they are only too pleased to talk about.

projectmanager Peter van Wijk

Widening of Ceintuurbaan-Zuid

The new drop-off road will actually be a widening of the viaduct to the current departure halls. Work is being carried out on the raised roads between the exit from the A4 motorway and the entrance to the current terminal. Ceintuurbaan-Zuid, to be precise. The viaduct was constructed in the 1990s and is now set to be doubled in size. The aim is to connect to the new terminal to it. This immediately presents a major challenge to Peter and his colleagues. ‘The new section must have the same appearance,’ he explains. ‘However, it must also meet the requirements of the present day.’ Fortunately, this is not something that worries Hans of Royal HaskoningDHV. ‘We are using heavier girders, for example, or stronger cams,’ he says. ‘But ultimately the viaducts will appear as one entity.’

You can’t see it, but it’s there

Much of the work underground has already been carried out. Peter: ‘Many cables and pipes are being rerouted or removed. The piles for the new viaduct are also in place. At the moment, we are in the process of fixing the concrete foundations on top of them.’ Hans adds: ‘In fact, everything you will no longer be able to see once we have finished.’

Step by step towards January 2020

Hans and Peter have had their hands full with the preparatory work as well. Hans gives an example. ‘We recently had to remove an edge from the existing viaduct. It sounds simple, but we had to reroute traffic to and from Schiphol Centre in order to guarantee the safety of road-users and the building employees. Almost every job entails some kind of additional complexity like this. So coordinating, harmonising and organising things sometimes takes more effort than the job itself.’ Knowing this, it is not surprising that the phases of the project are contained in an impressive manual. Peter: ‘We really do have to work on a step-by-step basis. But even with small steps, completion in January 2020 is getting that bit closer.’

It’s all about the details

The new drop-off road is a project in which the details are all interconnected. ‘Royal HaskoningDHV is coordinating the effects of all these details,’ explains Peter. ‘For example, they make sure that a cross on a map really does become an actual lamp-post. And that it is positioned in the correct way, secured and supplied with power.’ Hans: ‘We don’t do any building work ourselves. That is carried by the contractor, BAM. We represent the interests of the client. That is, of Schiphol.’

Many parties involved

Hundreds of people are involved with the construction of the new viaduct. From numerous parties. ‘An example is that of the emergency services,’ says Peter. ‘They want to be certain that the new terminal will be easy to get to in emergencies. And Schiphol Operations absolutely wants to know that travellers will be able to get to their departure hall on time.’ All stakeholders are involves in the project. In other words, there is a whole range of requirements that has to be met. ‘The drop-off road will be ready in 2020. From then on, the ‘front door’ of the new terminal will fit in seamlessly with the new drop-off road, says Hans’.