The Zuidas in Amsterdam is the most important business district in the Netherlands, and is developing rapidly. The Zuidasdok project aims to further improve the accessibility and attractiveness of the Zuidas. To achieve this, the A10 motorway is being widened and is being moved underground in the centre of the Zuidas district. The De Nieuwe Meer and Amstel intersections are being modified and the Amsterdam Zuid train and metro station is undergoing expansion to cope with the anticipated increase in passenger numbers. New bus and tram stops and bicycle parking are also being built next to the station, while public areas are being rebuilt using high-quality materials.
With a budget of €1.9 billion (including the intersections), the Zuidasdok project is a collaboration between the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment (RWS), ProRail and the City of Amsterdam.
The Zuidas is a very attractive central urban area. The scope and public importance of the Zuidasdok project, the presence of multiple methods of transport being used intensively, the limited space available, and the large number of stakeholders all combine to make it a complex and challenging project, and a perfect fit for AT Osborne.
The Zuidasdok project organisation issued a European call for tenders in 2013 for all engineering and consultancy services. This call for tenders was won by the consortium consisting of Arcadis, Witteveen+Bos and AT Osborne, who came together to form the Ingenieursbureau Zuidasdok (IBZ). AT Osborne has an unusual role in this consortium, as we are responsible for guiding and overseeing all the process management for IBZ. The IBZ process manager from AT Osborne not only holds the final responsibility for IBZ’s activities, but also forms the link to the Zuidasdok project organisation.
The interesting thing about this role is that it embodies the cooperation between the Zuidasdok project organisation (with the parent organisations RWS, ProRail and the City of Amsterdam) and IBZ (Arcadis and Witteveen+Bos). For the Zuidasdok principal, it is important that IBZ thinks and acts in the interests of the ‘aim’ of the Zuidasdok project (especially during the planning phase) that is constantly evolving and is much wider in scope than simply the ‘contract’ with IBZ. This requires a high degree of flexibility from IBZ to evolve alongside the aim whilst ensuring that the milestones are achieved on time. It also demands considerable commitment in the area of integrated quality assurance: how do you achieve a dynamic environment with many parallel lines of high-quality products that all fit together?
In this special role, the process manager from AT Osborne makes a major contribution to the cooperation between all parties on both sides, while at the same time keeping an eye on the interests of all stakeholders. This is not always an easy task, since those interests are sometimes very different. Yet when all targets are met and the partnership is successful, you feel a great sense of pride and satisfaction.