Cabinet approves funding of two new roads

The Blankenburg link and the A15 extension are now a step closer. Following a proposal by infrastructure and environment minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen, the Dutch cabinet has approved a bill that will allow two missing links in the Netherlands’ road network to be built. A temporary toll will be levied to fund the construction of the two roads sooner than originally planned.

The A15 extension in the east of the country is an important link, particularly for road freight destined for Germany. Given the regional importance of the link, the region will also contribute to the extension. The road currently ends in a field, after which trucks have to divert to smaller roads. The Blankenburg link – a tunnel between the A20 and A15 motorways west of Rotterdam – will keep the Rotterdam region accessible, which is important for quality of life and economic activity.

In 2006 and 2009 decisions were taken to speed up the building of these two new stretches of road and the new link between the A13 and A16 by introducing a toll. Ms Schultz van Haegen decided in 2013 to scrap the A13/A16 toll. The minister’s current proposal is limited to two projects. The bill states that the toll will be discontinued as soon as enough revenue has been generated to cover the cost of building the roads. The existing toll-free alternative to both links will be retained.

The Blankenburg link will be commissioned between 2022 and 2024. The A15 extension is due to open between 2019 and 2021. The toll for both will be €1.18 for cars and €7.11 for trucks. The target amount for the Blankenburg link is €315 million and, for the A15 extension, €287 million. The Blankenburg link will cost just over €1.1 billion, the A15 extension €840 million.