Client: Dutch Government Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment
Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Fluor was a partner in IXAS Zuid-Oost, selected by the Dutch Government to deliver the A9 Gaasperdammerweg public-private-partnership (PPP) project. The project upgraded and expanded seven kilometers of the existing A9 highway between junctions of Holendrecht and Diemen in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The project was situated in a densely populated area with many external stakeholders and interfaces. Fluor self-performed its share of the project. Modular construction was used for the civil structures and temporary bridges, and modular testing was applied for the tunnel technical equipment.
The PPP/DBFM (design, build, finance maintain) main contract required the setup of an SPC (Special Purpose Company) responsible for the financing and main contract management. The SPC consisted of Fluor, Ballast Nedam, Heijmans and 3i, each with an equal share. Furthermore, an EPCM-Co (engineering, procurement, construction and maintenance company) was set up by Ballast Nedam, Fluor and Heijmans.
This EPCM company was responsible for fully executing and maintaining the project. The project had a total nominal value of approximately $945 million (€700 million), including a 20-year management and maintenance period after the new infrastructure became available.
The A9 project was the third of five projects in the Schiphol - Amsterdam - Almere (SAA) corridor. This corridor is located in an economically important area that needed to be easily accessible. The objective of the SAA program was to improve the traffic flow by expanding the road capacity in order to safeguard good accessibility of the region in the future and to improve the quality of life in the surrounding area. Maintaining the traffic flow during construction was a key challenge.
The project consisted of all the work performed in connection with the reconstruction and expansion of the A9 highway between the junctions of Holendrecht and Diemen in the region of Amsterdam, including the bridge over the river Gaasp, the road surface on the A9 Gaasperdammerweg and the construction of an approximately three-kilometer cut-and-cover tunnel.
The main challenges were:
- Construction in a sensitive environment on and around an intensively used infrastructure
- Ensuring traffic flow across the entire corridor
- Minimizing traffic disruption during construction phase
- Managing the interfaces between the various projects as well as the interfaces with the adjacent main road network and the environment
- Managing the logistics of the transition from the existing to the new infrastructure
- Designing and implementing technical solutions.
During the bid phase, Fluor provided the PPP/DBFM project experience needed to win the project. The project was awarded with use of MEAT criteria (most economically advantageous tender). Therefore, the client awarded the project not solely based on pricing, but also on the quality of the bid. IXAS Zuid-Oost was rated best on both price and MEAT criteria.
IXAS provided a solution with a short construction phase with minimal environmental nuisance, while maintaining optimal traffic flow. The team used 3D modeling to test the design under a variety of situations, validating the ideas before construction started. Smart construction methods and sustainable materials improved the impact on the community and the environment.
Key roles in the SPC and the EPCM-Co were staffed by Fluor, including the EPCM project director, EPCM Business manager, SPC contract manager and SPC assurance manager. Much effort was put into maintaining good relations with the client, stakeholders and local residents.
The IXAS management system was based on the ISO15288, involving all primary and business processes needed to successfully manage a project of this magnitude, such as model-based systems engineering, quality management, interface management, lifecycle asset management and stakeholder management. IXAS obtained certificates for the ISO9001, VCA**, BTR and SPIC, and its organizational maturity levels were externally audited with use of the ISO15504 standard. Fluor was also responsible for building the project's work roads, logistics center and site offices.
Construction began in early 2015 and was completed in December 2021. The project consisted of the upgrade and expansion of seven kilometers of the existing A9 highway between the junctions of Holendrecht and Diemen, including the bridge over the river Gaasp, the road surface on the A9 Gaasperdammerweg and the construction of the Netherlands' largest cut-and-cover tunnel with five tunnel tubes. With a focus on sustainable construction, the project team installed more than 5,000 solar panels on the roof of the tunnel that generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 600 homes.
There were approximately 150 construction workers on the site during peak construction. The project held excellent safety and quality records, achieving 710,000 safe work hours. Fluor's Greenville and Amsterdam offices were integral to this project's success.
The Fluor joint venture will operate and maintain the roadway for 20 years.