Improvements to Tunnel safety
The tunnel system underneath Schiphol’s runways is being renovated. Half of the tunnel tubes will be fitted with new concrete walls, and new technology will be installed throughout the system. Renovation work on the walls of Buitenveldert tunnel has already been completed, so now it’s time for a high-tech makeover: new lighting, fans and sprinklers, as well as a new speaker system and a large number of other smart-technology solutions. The key word is safety. Kaagbaan tunnel will be next, with renovation work slated for later this year.
New concrete, new tech
The importance of safety is reflected in the nature of the renovation work on Buitenveldert tunnel and Kaagbaan tunnel. Escape routes and new technology will ensure that motorists and cyclists can get to safety quickly and with ease in case of an incident, and the terminal’s Control Centre will be able to monitor the tunnels 24/7, shortening emergency services’ response times. In addition, Buitenveldert tunnel now has shorter supply roads and smart traffic lights to ensure traffic flow.
These are our plans
Schiphol’s staff and the businesses located on the airport’s premises will be affected the most by the renovation work. Anyone who has recently driven along Loevesteinse Randweg between P40 and Schiphol Plaza will have noticed the work being carried out on Buitenveldert tunnel. Because the tunnel tubes are taken out of order one at a time, the traffic situation changes regularly. The changes are especially noticeable for:
- Users of Buitenveldert tunnel: business partners, motorists and cyclists within Schiphol’s premises, public transport users, and – to a lesser extent – travellers.
- Users of Kaagbaan tunnel: airside business partners, especially those who work on the Sierra platform.
Renovation work on the concrete walls of Buitenveldert tunnel was completed at the end of last year. Other renovations included the addition of crossings at the entrances and exits in order to guide one-way traffic to the right lane: an important milestone for the project. Now, the focus is shifting from concrete to tech, as the tunnel’s technological systems are set to receive an update. Tube A has been taken out of service in order to install new lighting, fans and sprinklers, as well as a new speaker system and a large number of other smart-technology safety solutions.
Kaagbaan tunnel will be next, with renovation work slated for later this year. As it only has one tube, this will remain a two-way tunnel, and after the renovations the speed limit inside will be 30 km/h. Just like Buitenveldert tunnel, Kaagbaan tunnel will have an escape route, new technological features, and remote monitoring from the Control Centre.
Work on Buitenveldert tunnel’s technological systems started at the beginning of March. As a result, Tube A has temporarily been taken out of service. Traffic is being re-routed through the remaining tubes, altering the traffic situation. The renovations will take three to four months, after which the other tubes will be tackled one at a time. Building and testing the new technological systems is currently estimated to take three months for each tube. After this, the tunnel system will have to be tested one more time in its entirety. We are still working on a plan to do this as efficiently as possible, limiting any inconvenience as much as possible. We expect work on Buitenveldert tunnel to be completed at the beginning of 2019. In addition, we are already in the midst of planning the coming renovations on Kaagbaan tunnel. The design for the new-and-improved tunnel has been commissioned, and work is scheduled to start in the third quarter of 2018.