Utrecht is the hub of the Dutch motorway network, and the motorways surrounding Utrecht combine to create the Utrecht Ring. Each day, the A27 and the A12 carry at least 180,000 to 220,000 vehicles, and traffic jams occur almost daily.
The Ring is a complex system with three major interchanges and nine access and exit points, some of which have intersections. In short, many places where drivers want to change lane. In sections where drivers want to change lane, traffic jams build up more quickly than in areas where traffic is simply continuing on the same road. As well as the problem of keeping traffic moving, noise on the A12 currently needs to be reduced between Lunetten and Oudenrijn, falling under the category of major growth. This identifies situations where, since the introduction of the law to reduce noise pollution (SWUNG),
traffic has shown a high level of growth.
Based on the currently preferred alternative in the draft route decision, this includes:
- expansion of the A27’s capacity on the east side of Utrecht and the Lunetten and Rijnsweerd intersections, including splitting off traffic in both directions;
- widening the A12 with an additional lane in each direction on the parallel section.
From a planning perspective, the desired end result of this project is the integration, implementation, commissioning and transfer of a capacity increase on the main road network to the east of Utrecht.
The Utrecht Ring is a major project in a tricky location, involving many parties and several different interests. In addition, it is also technically complex and politically sensitive on both a national and local level. In short, just the sort of project that we at AT Osborne would love to get our teeth into.
The decision on the route will be taken at the end of 2016, the tender process is due to begin in 2018, and construction work planned by the end of 2020. If everything goes well, the project will be completed in 2027. Working towards the route decision, the project is in a transition phase during 2016 from completing the planning to preparing for implementation. This also requires a change in its organisation, as new disciplines and areas of responsibility are required in the project team, including in the area of project management.
Pau Lian Staal-Ong and Lianne van der Weerd from AT Osborne are taking on the roles of quality manager as well as senior and junior project management consultants in the project management team, and are responsible for setting up, implementing and managing the quality management process in the A12/A27 Utrecht Ring project.
In addition, we are contributing to the development of the project team and to the clear adjustment, development and definition of the framework in the area of project management within RWS. In addition, AT Osborne is helping to develop the project’s risk management system.
The activities for which we are responsible include:
- setting up and introducing the project quality system;
- creating the project plan and its associated reference documents, such as the scope;
- drafting quality procedures;
- drafting an audit plan;
- carrying out internal audits and coordinating external evaluations and tests;
- setting up and managing the improvements register;
- contributing to key project management products;
- drafting management information;
- setting up knowledge management;
- reviewing and setting up a risk management register.
Based on discussions, interviews, working sessions and off-site days, we get the project team involved in the development of the project quality system and all its related activities. This is where our experience of organising other major projects such as the Betuwe line, Amsterdam metro North/South line, Zuidasdok and Blankenburg link proves useful.