On the Day of Construction last Saturday, it was no longer possible to visit the King Willem-Alexander tunnel (KWA tunnel).

However, the Green Carpet on top of the tunnel attracted a lot of attention. Over 500 people from Maastricht and surroundings came to have a look. In this article, we take a digital look at the management and maintenance of the tunnel and transport installations in the tunnel.

Under the name Avenue2 Maintenance, Strukton is responsible for the management and maintenance of all the installations and systems in the tunnel, such as cameras, (emergency) lighting, emergency exit doors, fire extinguishing equipment, operating software and ventilators. Strukton Systems maintains the technical tunnel installations and has created a maintenance organisation for this purpose.

During the daily operations, safety must be guaranteed for both passing traffic and for employees involved in managing and maintaining the KWA tunnel. In addition, it is vitally important to ensure optimal accessibility of the tunnel. This is achieved by performing all the work during planned closures wherever possible. Furthermore, breakdowns are prevented as much as possible through condition or use-related maintenance.

Installation responsibility 
Employees from PMC Energy Solutions of Strukton Systems are responsible for the installation of the high voltage systems. They are available 24/7. Three engineers in the service department at Energy Solutions are also familiar with the technical installations of the KWA tunnel, so that operations can also be planned and implemented during work on other tunnel installations and a back-up is always available in the event of calamities. These specialists have the required certificates from Stipel and DNV GL to be allowed to work on these critical installations. They also have written instructions from Avenue2. In this way, Strukton Systems contributes to the safe operational management of the KWA tunnel and a good flow of traffic on the A2 and good accessibility for Maastricht.

Technical tunnel installations
When you drive through a tunnel, you are barely aware of the extensive and complex installations involved. In the KWA tunnel, there are 55 systems including medium and low voltage installations, ventilation systems, diesel generators, UPS installations, fire alarm and extinguishing systems, transport installations, camera surveillance, radio installations for the FM and communications systems for the emergency services. All these systems can be operated and read locally as well as remotely. They are periodically inspected, tested and maintained to ensure that the required safety level and accessibility can be guaranteed and thus traffic is not disrupted.

Commissioning tunnel 
Avenue 2, a consortium of Strukton and Ballast Nedam, were responsible for the design and construction of the tunnel and the technical installations. The tunnel was opened on 16 December 2016. During the first year after commissioning, a hybrid situation exists: various works are still being performed, but the tunnel is open for traffic. Together with other contractors, Strukton is also involved in connecting the slip roads to the main road network. To ensure that traffic can continue to flow as normally as possible, Rijkswaterstaat (Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management) chose to use tunnel operators for several months who can operate locally in the event of an emergency. Operational management takes place remotely from Rijkswaterstaat's traffic control centre Zuid in Helmond.

Two decks 
The special feature of the KWA tunnel is that it consists of two decks. This is the first double-deck tunnel in the Netherlands. The upper tunnel tubes are for local traffic (N2) while the lower tunnel tubes are for through traffic (A2). On top of this tunnel complex, multiple functions have been provided, including homes, footpaths and cycle paths and a municipal park. Which is why Rijkswaterstaat and the municipality of Maastricht chose the project name "De Groene Loper" [The Green Carpet"].

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