The city of Groningen is undergoing a major transformation as the Julianaplein, the largest and busiest intersection in the north of the country, is being rebuilt. The project is part of the Ring Zuid plan, which aims to improve the traffic flow and accessibility of the city.
The Julianaplein connects the traffic from four directions: Assen (A28), Drachten (A7), Hoogezand (A7) and the city center (Emmaviaduct). The current traffic lights cause congestion and delays during peak hours. According to the Groninger Internet Courant, the new design will replace the traffic lights with a tunnel for through traffic and a roundabout for local traffic. The tunnel will have two lanes in each direction and will be 1.3 kilometers long. The roundabout will have three lanes and will be 80 meters in diameter.
The construction of the Julianaplein started in 2020 and is expected to be completed by 2024. The project is carried out by Combinatie Herepoort, a consortium of several construction companies. The project also involves the renovation of other parts of the Ring Zuid, such as the Esperantokruising, the Europaweg and the Zuiderpark.
The Ring Zuid plan is intended to enhance the safety, livability and attractiveness of Groningen. The plan also includes measures to promote cycling, public transport and green spaces. The total cost of the revamp is estimated at €650 million, which is funded by the national government, the province and the municipality.
The construction of the Julianaplein and the Ring Zuid causes some inconvenience for road users and residents. The project team advises people to plan their trips ahead, use alternative routes or modes of transport, and avoid peak hours if possible. The project team also provides a live stream and regular updates on the progress and the traffic situation on their website Aanpak Ring Zuid and social media channels.