New motorway between Venlo and Germany opened
A74 puts an end to the nuisance of (heavy vehicle)through traffic in Venlo (Limburg)
Today, the Netherlands was able to bid farewell to a serious traffic bottleneck in Venlo caused by daily (heavy vehicle) traffic having to drive through the municipality to cross the border with Germany. With the official opening of the new A74 motorway, from now on there is a direct and fast connection to and from Germany. At just 2.5 km in length, the A74 is one of the shortest motorways in the Netherlands but it means reduced travelling times for road transport and puts an end to the traffic nuisance for the residents of Venlo.
With the unveiling of the boulders on the border between Venlo-Tegelen and Germany, Minister Schultz van Haegen (Infrastructure & the Environment) and her German fellow ministers Ramsauer and Voigtsberger, declared the new motorway that links the A73 to the German A61 officially open. From Thursday 5 April (6.00 a.m.) road users will be able to use the new link. German visitors to the Floriade which opens for the public on Thursday will benefit from the motorway immediately.
Minister Schultz: “The Netherlands and Germany are now even better connected to one another and Venlo has been relieved of the pressure of the one and a half million lorries that drive through the streets of the municipality every year. Our road network now has one bottleneck less and we have a fast connection to our major trading partner. That is good for accessibility and good for the economy.”
Minister of Transport Ramsauer: “The countries of Europe are moving closer together. That is why we are investing in cross-border motorways that can deal with high volumes of traffic. The A74 that links up with the A61 closes a gap in the cross-border road network. Germany and the Netherlands are now optimally linked to one another in the trans-European road network. Visitors to the 2012 Floriade will also benefit from the new link.”
At the opening, Minister Schultz pointed out that the road has a prior history of over thirty years. “There was a clear need for a good link for through traffic but before we could start working on it we had to wade through a huge amount of paperwork. Metres of shelf-space filled with binders bear witness to the lively discussions regarding the desired route.”
The realisation of the road is a real feat, according to Minister Schultz. The motorway with 9 civil engineering structures and 35,000 square metres of noise screens was completed in 13 months. “We reduced construction time by six months by planning and building intelligently so that as much work as possible was done at the same time,” according to the Minister.
A great deal of attention was paid to the integration of the road with the surroundings as one section runs through a nature reserve. To ensure optimum integration of the A74 with the landscape, part of the road has been sunk and part raised. New nature reserves covering a total of 30 hectares will be created, wooded boundaries restored and a total of 35,000 trees planted. In addition, during the construction of the A74 Rijkswaterstaat (the executive arm of the Ministry of I&M) paid a lot of attention to providing proper protection for the bat colony in the vicinity of the road.