Renovation Piet Hein Tunnel in Amsterdam

Linked to the core value Innovation, Sustainability and Collaboration

Renovation Piet Heintunnel in full swing, Alliance between the Municipality of Amsterdam and Yunex Traffic/Heijmans

Renovating Piet Hein tunnel in Amsterdam. The implementation of the renovation started at the end of June 2021, until September
2022 and falls within the program 'Approach Road Tunnels Amsterdam', abbreviated 'AWA'. The Piet Hein tunnel was inaugurated in 1997 and is a main artery of the Amsterdam road network. This tunnel connects the center of Amsterdam with Zeeburgereiland and the A10 ring road. After almost 25 years of intensive use (30,000 vehicles per day), the tunnel is due for renovation. In addition, the Piet Hein tunnel must fully comply with safety legislation (Wet Supplementary Rules for Road Tunnel Safety). We speak with Renard Kox and Leon Turmaine, both working for Yunex Traffic, in the respective positions of Engineering Project Manager for the City of Amsterdam and Specialist Engineer, who is also Renard's right-hand man.

Work on the Piet Heintunnel

“The municipality of Amsterdam, Yunex Traffic and Heijmans will, among other things, completely renew and expand the existing installations and systems in the tunnel and their control system”, Renard opens the conversation. “Major maintenance is also carried out on the civil and architectural parts.” Renard is responsible for the entire design team, which covers matters such as civil works, communication, control and installations. “We are working on a consistent, integral design, together with Denis Walraven, who is ultimately responsible for the design team from the municipality. Unfortunately, Denis was unable to attend this meeting," says Renard. Leon adds: “At the moment I am making the link to the implementation, together with Heijmans.”

Raising Systems to the next Level

The installations in the Piet Hein tunnel dating from 1997 no longer meet current standards. “Legislation has changed, so the systems need to be taken to a higher level,” says Renard. “AWA wants more 'redundancy' and wants to work in a more modular way, so that there is significantly less hindrance to traffic in future work. The fire resistance must also be increased, the joints and sheet piles must be provided with heat-resistant cladding. The installations have reached the end of their lifespan and are being renovated, according to a design that complies with the legislation and requirements of the municipality.”

Define Sections

Leon outlines the modular construction method: “We define sections that run from emergency exit door to emergency exit door. Each section covers approximately 100 meters and will have its own installation, which is identical to the other installations. So completely modular. The advantage is that there is no consists of several parts and for maintenance, service or repair only one section needs to be switched off, instead of the entire tunnel. The strength is in the repetition, so the quality goes up and everything is easier to maintain. Each section will have its own control box, this is not the cheapest solution if we look at the purchase costs, but in the long term it will be.” Renard adds: “This method is also a blueprint for AWA, as more tunnels are being renovated. Escape doors are available in every tunnel, so sectioning can be done anywhere.” Leon: “In fact, the longer the tunnel, the cheaper it becomes.”

The Work at a Glance

The “Best for Project” approach is used within the project and no “scope split” has been agreed. Renard explains: “With this for each sub-activity, we look at what is best for the project. The field of Siemens Mobility includes matters such as emergency post boxes, lighting, the high-frequency system, lane signalling, traffic detection, cameras, the public address system, air quality meters, fans and differential pressure meters between the traffic tube and the service corridor. The latter system creates overpressure in the service corridor, which is necessary to ensure that no smoke or gas can enter the service corridor in the event of a fire or the escape of gases. That pressure has to be just right, still a lot of work in 1.5 kilometers. The Piet Hein tunnel does not have sliding doors, but swing doors. When opening, these doors must therefore be pushed against the air pressure. To facilitate this, a mechanical opening aid is placed on the doors, an invention that comes from the maritime sector. All installations are located in the service corridor.” In addition to the work i tunnel, work will also take place outside the tunnel Place. Leon sums up: “Think of barrier gates and the link with the VTI (traffic technical installation). Work for the new traffic control center is also part of the approach. The control station is also located near the tunnel, which is a copy of the control station in the traffic control center. The operator therefore monitors and operates in the central traffic control center of the municipality of Amsterdam, with a local back-up control station on the tunnel, in the West service building. This is aready standby location and can be switched on if necessary.”

Digital Twin

Yunex Traffic uses an interactive digital tunnel twin. Renard: “This is a 3D model of the tunnel with all the new installations, including the environment. This is linked to the new tunnel control software and the new workstation for operating and monitoring the tunnel, making it possible to create all kinds of scenarios in the renovated tunnel before the renovation tunnel very accurately. This way you can accurately test the functional behavior of the tunnel. This reduces costs, shortens lead time and increases efficiency. We are talking about two phases with the Digital Twin. The first phase is the physical Digital Twin, a control station to which equipment is physically linked. This allows you to test whether the hardware is doing its job properly. It is an interface between the control and the hardware. The second phase is a Digital Twin that simulates the hardware, using the SIMIT software package developed by Siemens. This allows you to perform a virtual boot without hardware, test automation applications in a virtual environment and train tunnel traffic control in a realistic butn the safe environment. So: In phase 1 you physically test one lamp and in phase 2 you can test 100 virtually.” In phase three, there is a test framework for the software. “Connect field equipment to SIMIT and you have a field simulation. The software is therefore linked to the real tunnel. You can also simulate camera images with it. For example, it is possible to see from the perspective of the road user looking at the equipment in the tunnel. It is also possible to see from the camera whether its position is optimal.”

Working in Alliance

According to Renard, the cooperation within the Yunex Traffic/Heijmans combination is good and pleasant. “Working in an alliance is good and we already know each other in this form of cooperation. We have already done the Koningstunnel together in the same setup. All parties were open and transparent in the story, there was a lot of work pleasure and a great deal of mutual favor. Working Best for Project creates an ideal division of work. For example, Heijmans is responsible for the cables, pipelines and communication systems. We do the VTI and the mechanical installation and system engineering. we step so as an integrator”, says Renard. Leon adds: “We monitor the discussion between the three collaborating parties, whereby there are indeed three different corporate cultures. It is running successfully because we pay a lot of attention to making processes transparent, we provide a lot of information and provide everyone with instructions. It is a matter of signaling and anticipating.”

Contact Us

For more information about our portfolio or to get in touch with us directly.