The European Investment Bank has agreed to provide ca. EUR 330 million to support the construction of the so-called “Blankenburg connection” between the existing A15 and A20 motorways in the Netherlands. The EIB loan to the project benefits from the , the central part of the , the Juncker Plan.
The project is set to unlock congested traffic and improve accessibility to the Port of Rotterdam, Europe’s busiest harbour. By linking the existing motorways, which run parallel to the port on the northern and southern side, traffic from both sides can benefit from an extra crossing point of the Scheur River, in the Maas river delta. This will not only improve the flow of goods from the port, but also alleviate traffic for local residents and commuters.
“This project is of major importance to the Port of Rotterdam and the wider area.” said EIB vice-president Vazil Hudak. “Rotterdam is the busiest port in Europe, but the goods don’t stop there. Therefore, the Bank is glad it can help improve road access to the Port, but this will also improve traffic conditions for those visiting or transiting through the area, a real benefit for all citizens.”
“This loan made possible by the Investment Plan for Europe, will help decongest traffic around the Port of Rotterdam and will benefit local residents. Everything we do in transport is about people and for people. Lastly, this investment joins an already impressive pipeline of transport projects. To date, the European Fund for Strategic Investments has provided support to 68 transport projects triggering a total EUR 27.6 billion.” added Violeta Bulc, EU Commissioner for Transport.
On a technical level, the project entails the construction of a nearly 5km long stretch of motorway, including submerged and land-based tunnels. Most of the motorway will be “submerged” as seen from ground level, thus mostly remaining out of sight for the inhabitants of the area. The project is designed as a 20-year Design-Build-Finance-Maintain (DBFM), availability-based, Public Private Partnership concession.