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Roads, rail, inland shipping and pipelines

During the design phase, the planners already took account of the need to construct an efficient and sustainable infrastructure for the transport of cargo and the supply of energy. But what does this infrastructure need to look like to make the terminals accessible for road transport, inland shipping and rail? And which utilities will soon be required and what will they connect to?

Facilities for inland shipping

The Yangtzehaven will also serve as the gateway to Maasvlakte 2 for inland shipping. In the final situation, the design will be able to accommodate the two-way traffic of both ocean-going vessels and inland vessels. However, until 2020, this is only possible for inland shipping. Thanks to the form of the port basins and the shores, inland vessels will only experience minimal nuisance from the waves created by the wind. Container inland vessels will be handled both at the sea quays and the shallower inland shipping quays. Almost 3 km of quay wall will be constructed exclusively for handling inland/coastal shipping. The inland vessels transporting chemical cargo will be handled at special inland quays.

Road construction

Three kinds of roads ensure excellent accessibility for Maasvlakte 2. There will also be bike paths for cyclists. Of course, when planning the traffic infrastructure, the main consideration is capacity. But flexibility is also important. This way, the capacity can expand as the area develops and the operator can provide an effective response to unforeseen developments.

Main road

Maasvlakte 2's main road connects the area to the A15 motorway via the Hartelstrook. This road runs along the outer edge all the way to the junction in the north-western corner of the existing Maasvlakte. The section up to the hard seawall will ultimately be realised as a dual carriageway with hard shoulders. The first phase will start with a two-lane road, with companies being hooked up via level road-junctions. Ultimately, companies with a lot of traffic will be connected via flyover junctions. These junctions are safer because the intersecting traffic is guided over or under the other traffic by means of a viaduct. The design allows the developer to incorporate viaducts at a later stage at virtually any conceivable location.

Second road

Parallel to the main road, plans outline a second road for recreational traffic and slow-moving traffic like tractors and shovels. This road will furthermore serve as an emergency route. The secondary road will be executed as an area access road and will be for the most part incorporated in the soft seawall. At junctions like company exit roads, this road will be connected to the main road. This solution is both practical and safe. In the event of a calamity, traffic can switch between roads, so that it can always vacate the area. At the same time, the area remains accessible for emergency services.

Finely meshed road network

Besides the main road and the secondary road, the local distributor roads on the large industrial sites allocated to the chemical and distribution sectors will offer access to all companies. The development and allotment plan will be drawn up as soon as one or more clients have become known. Here too, the Master Plan offers room for flexibility.

Internal transport

In order to relieve pressure on the public roads as far as possible, the Master Plan reserves space along the entire outer rim for an internal route for container transport. This way, the containers that are transported from the container terminals to empty container depots and to rail and inland shipping terminals will be kept off the main road. This internal road can be connected to the internal road of the existing Maasvlakte.

Viaducts

Viaducts are required for safely and efficiently processing the traffic flows from and to the sites. The viaducts will be constructed in phases. For the first phase, the existing C2 bend and the Europaweg/Colloradoweg junction will be converted. In addition, a viaduct will be constructed on the Hartelstrook to provide access to the existing Distripark Maasvlakte. Some three viaducts will also be constructed on Maasvlakte 2 in the longer term.

Bike path

A separate bike path will be constructed parallel to the road for recreational traffic. Cyclists can use this path to travel all the way along the outer rim of Maasvlakte 2. As the path is situated on the dune itself, it offers a unique view of the surroundings. The bike path will not just be used by recreationists, but also by commuters. At multiple points, the bike path will connect to the access road to the different industrial sites, so that these become accessible to cyclists and moped riders too.

Accessibility of the beach

On the southern edge of Maasvlakte 2, the former Slufter Beach will be replaced by a leisure beach. On sunny days, this beach is expected to attract a lot of visitors. An access road and 1,500 parking spaces will ensure good accessibility. More to the north, one will find an activity beach. This beach will also be easy to access.

Rail

The design for the local railway integrates the existing Maasvlakte with Maasvlakte 2. Track will be laid along the outer rim, all the way up to the existing Euromax Terminal in the north-western corner of the current Maasvlakte. This way, virtually all the companies on Maasvlakte 2 will have a rail connection. Only the triangular site to the west of the Slufter will not be accessible via rail.

The main railway will be developed as a dual-track line. The Master Plan has however already reserved space for a third track. Should this track prove necessary in the future, it will be relatively simple and inexpensive to realise. One can take two routes from Maasvlakte 2 to the existing Maasvlakte: one can cross the Hartelstrook, and then go via the C2 bend to the Havenspoorlijn railway, or one can go past the APMT Terminal and subsequently connect to the existing rail complex (Rail Terminal West and the Maasvlakte West marshalling yard). This way, trains can move from and to all the different container terminals on Maasvlakte 2 and be loaded up where necessary.

Due to the expected number of trains, the rail network will require marshalling yards. These yards will be used as ‘decoupling site'. Here, trains will be received, engines will be switched (electric/diesel), a variety of checks will be conducted and drivers will wait until the train gets the green light. Limiting the number of marshalling tracks raises the bar for the logistics rail processes. That is why in the coming years, the rail sector will need to strongly improve its processes to increase the efficiency of the rail and the marshalling yards. All in all, space has been reserved for around 45 extra marshalling tracks. The existing Maasvlakte West marshalling yard can be expanded by about 15 tracks. The plans for the Hartelstrook (the Zuid yard) reserve space for around 30 marshalling tracks.

Cables and pipelines

A major share of the transport at Maasvlakte 2 is hidden from view. The cables and pipelines are accommodated below the surface in so-called pipeline corridors. The pipeline corridors follow more or less the same route as the road and the rail track. The pipeline corridor starts at the C2 bend, runs via the Hartelstrook along the outer contour and subsequently connects to the pipeline corridor of the existing north-western corner. In addition, there is also a short-cut allowing for the laying of cables and pipelines between the existing area and Maasvlakte 2.

Utilities

Maasvlakte 2 also needs utilities like electricity, drinking water, a fibreglass connection and a pressure sewer for (household) wastewater. In contrast with home, the area will not have a gas mains for regular use. Various sustainable energy applications are being considered for heating the buildings. A 10-m strip has been reserved close to the edge of the industrial sites for the utilities. The conduits will be constructed from synthetic material. The insulating synthetic tubes prevent problems arising from the combination of electricity cables and steel pipelines.

Container terminals consume a lot of electricity. The enormous container cranes demand a lot of power. Working in collaboration with Stedin, the Port Authority has therefore developed an ‘Electricity Master Plan'. A so-called ‘lace-through network' provides the answer. A 66kV cable network will be ‘rolled out' from both the northern and southern sides. This network can be closed once all the sites have been hooked up to the power supply. This allows this network to grow along with the growing capacity demand as Maasvlakte 2 is developed further after the first phase. The main advantage for the first clients is that they will not be bearing the entire investment cost of the network, but will be paying realistic connection charges.

Transport pipelines

An important location condition for the chemical and industrial sectors is the space made available for transport pipelines. To determine this space in the Master Plan, the planners have relied on experience in the existing port area. The rule of thumb teaches us that every hectare of chemical industry requires 10 cm of pipeline corridor width. The companies on the eastern side will be connected to the existing 40-m wide pipeline corridor along Europaweg. On the eastern side of Distripark Maasvlakte, an extra 10-m wide corridor will be reserved for further expanding the capacity. The companies on the western side will be hooked up to a 15-m wide corridor. This will be situated on the outside of the soft seawall.

Yangtzehaven pipeline corridor

The Yangtzehaven pipeline corridor was used to relocate the cables and pipelines that connect existing companies in the north-western corner. Otherwise, the cutting through of the Yangtzehaven would leave these companies disconnected from the Maasvlakte utilities. That is why the cables and pipelines were extended deep under the floor of the Yangtzehaven basin. Research has shown that laying the conduits along the outer edge is not a good option due to the high costs and the reduced efficiency of the longer electricity cables. Furthermore, this would create planning problems for the contractor PUMA. That is why it was decided to construct a corridor under the Yangtzehaven. The work on the pipelines involved relocating two gas mains for production gas, electricity connections, a drinking water supply system, data-communications connections and a pressure sewer. Six horizontally directed borings from the site of the Euromax Terminal were directed under the quay wall and the Yangtzehaven at a depth of -45 m New Amsterdam Water Level (NAP). They resurfaced some 1,200 m further on. This project was completed successfully and on schedule.