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BAAK Blankenburg-Verbinding, a consortium consisting of Ballast Nedam, DEME and Macquarie Capital, has signed the contract for the A24 Blankenburg Tunnel (Blankenburgverbinding) with the Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management (Rijkswaterstaat) of the Netherlands. Financial close is expected to take place in 2018.
The Blankenburg Tunnel is a key infrastructure project to both the port and wider region of Rotterdam. It will involve the construction of a new 4km A24 motorway, which will connect the A20 and the A15 motorways. These two roads are part of Rotterdam’s main infrastructure.
The project includes the construction of an immersed tunnel under the Rotterdam port waterway, a land tunnel, two busy junctions (connecting the A24 to the A20 and the A15) and the widening of the A20 between the A24 and the Kethelplein.
Through improving accessibility and reducing congestion in one of the Netherlands’ most economically important regions, the project will contribute significantly to economic growth.
The consortium will design and construct the A24 Blankenburg Tunnel, and following its opening, manage and maintain the road for 20 years. Construction is expected to commence in August 2018 and be complete by the end of 2024. The estimated total value of the project is EUR1 billion (US$1.2 billion).
The equity partners in the project are Macquarie Capital (70%), Ballast Nedam Concessies (15%) and DEME Concessions Infrastructure (15%). The actual construction will be carried out by a consortium consisting of Ballast Nedam Infra and the DEME companies DIMCO and Dredging International. In addition, Macquarie Capital is acting as sole financial advisor to the BAAK consortium.
The project plays an important role in the execution of the 2009 Masterplan Rotterdam Vooruit which governs the development of the Rotterdam region from 2020-2040. The objectives are to strengthen the city and port to drive economic growth, invest in existing urban areas and make potential development locations within urban areas accessible. These serve to increase the competitiveness of the urban regions.
Minister van Nieuwenhuizen of Infrastructure and Water Management, said:
“This is a great step towards the construction of the Blankenburgverbinding. This totally new motorway towards the port of Rotterdam will ensure a relieve of congestion at this economically important region”.
On behalf of the BAAK Blankenburg-Verbinding consortium, Martijn Klinkhamer, board member of BAAK, added:
“We are very proud to have reached this important step in the Blankenburg project. In building a consortium of leading engineering contractors, tunnelling and infrastructure funding specialists, I have great confidence in BAAK providing a comprehensive solution to relieve Rotterdam of congestion and provide enhanced transport infrastructure. We look forward to making a significant contribution to one of the Netherlands’ most economically significant regions working closely with Rijkswaterstaat.”