In a bid to improve the flow of traffic, the Port of Rotterdam Authority intends to redirect approximately 4km of the port (or first) section of the Betuwe rail route, which means that the railway line will no longer run over the Caland Bridge, thereby preventing shipping and rail traffic from obstructing each other from 2020 onwards.
Construction of the new route is predicted to cost an estimated US$301 million, with the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment planning to contribute over $109 million and the European Union $67 million, leaving a remainder of $125 million for the Port of Rotterdam Authority.
The bridge is an important traffic hub, used by rail and road traffic; once the construction of the new route is complete, the Rotterdam Port Authority is going to hand the railway line over to ProRail.
Ronald Paul, COO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority, said: “The connections to the hinterland are essential for the port’s competitive position. That’s why we want to see a solution to the capacity problem.
“But because the government doesn’t have sufficient funds to do this in the coming years, we suggested to the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment that we, as [a] port authority, would pay a large proportion of the costs for the Theemsweg Route and execute the project ourselves.
“On completion, we will hand the new stretch of track over to ProRail.
“The ministry responded positively to our proposal [and] we will produce the final design for the railway line in collaboration with ProRail.
“The new route will be approximately 4km long and run over a raised railway viaduct. The track will have two arched bridges and link up again with the existing track where it meets the A15.”