The first round of major road works on the southern ring road have been completed right on schedule.
The Groninger Internet Courant reports that the railroad tracks between Groningen and Assen, as well as the northbound lane of the southern portion of the ring road in Groningen, were closed during Ascension Day weekend.
The closures were necessary in order to install sheet piling and carry out related maintenance. The Helperzoom tunnel was also supposed to be put into place, but had to be postponed.
Despite severe thunderstorms on Sunday, the southern portion of the ring road was actually reopened ahead of schedule: as of 11 p.m. on Sunday, vehicles could use the motorway in its entirety. The railroad tracks at the intersection with the Esperantostraat were reopened at 1 a.m. on Monday.
The next task for the contractors is the creation of a bypass, which is scheduled for completion before the summer holidays.
The inability to move the Helperzoom tunnel into place was a disappointing setback. The tunnel can only be installed during a four-day period when trains are not running, which was why it was scheduled for this holiday weekend.
The most recent soil tests revealed that the ground was less solid than expected and components of the tunnel’s foundation sank deeper than predicted. Further research is now being conducted to determine how and when the tunnel will ultimately be put in place.