German engineering? No, Dutch excellence

German engineering? No, Dutch excellence The Dutch build a tunnel under a highway in one weekend

How the Dutch build a tunnel under a highway in one weekend

The Dutch are famous for a variety of things, like cheese, flowers and hardcore recreational drug use in certain areas. Recently however they accomplished a modern marvel in mechanical engineering work what some would call impossible, by taking on a road works project and completing it in a single weekend, way under the normal 6 month period usually required to fill a few pot holes.

This was not just some Mickey Mouse patch job on an overused road either. What they did was break through a narrow highway, lay down a tunnel that runs underneath and repave the highway while adding one lane, all in time for working public to get to work on Monday morning.

This project proves road works do not have to be done in the blistering sun during peak traffic but can also easily be done at night when the highway conditions are favorable and no one is in a hurry to get to their meetings on time and 2 tonne automobiles don’t pose a threat to the people working.

Also, the Dutch have shown that even a vicious rainstorm should only cause a brief pause while you laugh at its feeble attempts to halter progress before continuing your work.

The Dutch construction company Heijmans are the ones responsible for the tunnel which moves underneath the A12 towards Arnheim. The project started on May 20 and miraculously finished on May 22 bringing to life three shiny new lanes.

The federal agency responsible for the Dutch road infrastructure commissioned a engineering project to widen the 87 mile A12, one of the busiest highways in the country. This project was launched in 2011 and is said not to be completed for at least another two decades, however after watching them work I’m convinced they’ll be done before the end of the year.

The trick here is not only hard work but also modular and pre-fabricated construction. This means that the tunnel installed here was built before hand and just laid in place, which allows all the time consuming grunt work to be done away from the busy roads.

A video on Youtube shows the entire project in fast forward through a highway cameras recording, resulting in a breathtaking 3 minute video. It was indeed a thing of beauty.

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