Sluiskiltunnel

The Sluiskil tunnel ensures a  smooth connection between Goes and Ghent. The tunnel was built at the initiative of the Dutch State and the Province of Zeeland  because of the long waits for the bridge at Sluiskil. The Sluiskil tunnel was opened for traffic on May 23 in 2015. The. N.V. Westerschelde is responsible for the traffic and incident management and the maintenance of the Sluiskil tunnel.


Frequently Asked Questions

Tunnel

  • What should I do as I drive into the tunnel?

    1. Turn on your lights.
    2. Turn on your radio (the tunnel operator can provide information in the event of an accident via the stations: Radio 1, Radio 2, Radio 3, Radio 4, Omroep Zeeland, Q-Music, Radio 538, Skyradio, Veronica and Terneuzen FM.)
    3. Follow the instructions on the matrix signs above the road.
    4. Maintain the maximum speed.
    5. Keep your distance.
    6. Only stop in emergency situations and do not turn around.
    7. Trucks are prohibited from passing.

  • What is the maximum speed I am allowed to drive in the tunnel?

    The Westerschelde Tunnel is a motorway. This means that the maximum speed is 100 km/h unless otherwise indicated. Attention! Some vehicles, by law, are not permitted to drive faster than 80 km/h or 90 km/h. This applies in the Westerschelde Tunnel as well.

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  • Is the tunnel monitored?

    Yes, the tunnel operators monitor the tunnel 24 hours per day from the control room. Cameras, sensors embedded in the road surface, visibility measurements, smoke detectors and many other systems are used for this purpose. The tunnel operators work in shifts and can see the entire tunnel with all the traffic it contains, via various screens. They can therefore see exactly who drives where, whether speeds are excessive, whether there is any litter on the road and whether a vehicle is stopped somewhere. The tunnel operator is the first point of contact for solving problems. You can contact the tunnel operator directly via the intercom of one of the emergency stations located every 50 metres in the tunnel. The tunnel operator will immediately take the necessary measures, such as towing your vehicle in the event of a breakdown or an accident, and if necessary alerts the emergency services (police, fire department, ambulance). Or he/she will guide you to the other tunnel tube via one of the communicating passages. If necessary, he/she can also close off the lane in which you are stranded to traffic or completely halt tunnel traffic.

  • What is a tunnel operator and what are his/her duties?

    A tunnel operator is responsible for safety, for example through means of monitoring and operating technical installations, and for traffic management, for example through means of instituting traffic control measures.

  • Which radio stations can I receive in both tunnels?

    Ten radio stations can be received in the Westerschelde Tunnel. In the event of an emergency the tunnel operator can interrupt these stations. This includes the following stations and frequencies:
    - Radio 1 via 104.4 FM
    - Radio 2 via 97.8 FM
    - Radio 3 FM via 99.8 FM
    - Radio 4 FM via 95.0 FM
    - Omroep Zeeland via 87.9 FM
    - Q-Music via 100.4 FM
    - Radio 538 via 102.4 FM
    - Skyradio via 101.9 FM
    - Veronica via 103.3 FM
    - Terneuzen FM via 107.8 FM

    In the Sluiskiltunnel you can receive four radio stations

    - Radio 1 via 104.4 FM
    - Radio 2 via 97.8 FM
    - Radio 3 FM via 99.8 FM 
    - Omroep Zeeland via 87.9 FM

  • How are radio broadcasts interrupted in the tunnel?

    10 radio stations can be received in the Westerscheldetunnel. In the event of a disaster, the tunnel operator can interrupt these broadcasters.

    This is done for the following broadcasters and frequencies:

    • Radio 1 on 104.4 FM
    • Radio 2 on 97.8 FM
    • Radio 3 FM on 99.8 FM
    • Radio 4 FM on 95.0 FM
    • Omroep Zeeland on 87.9 FM
    • Radio 10 on 93.0 FM
    • Q-Music on 100.4 FM
    • Radio 538 on 102.4 FM
    • Sky Radio on 101.9 FM
    • Veronica on 103.3 FM

    Interrupting radio broadcasts allows the tunnel operator to inform road users through their car radio of any special circumstances, for instance a rapidly approaching ambulance.

    Many car radios come fitted with RDS (Radio Data System). A number of communication signals sent with this RDS signal are imperceptible to the listener. These include, for instance, the name of the radio station or the name of the artist. The TA (Traffic Announcement) and TP (Traffic Programme) signal are also part of this. These signals are often used to interrupt the broadcast or the CD player to provide traffic information. The Westerscheldetunnel also uses this RDA/TA/TP technology.

    Do you have problems receiving these signals?
    On many car radios, the TA volume can be adjusted separately to the normal radio volume. Sometimes it is possible that the TA volume has been set too low. The instruction manual accompanying the car radio usually contains full details about this.

     

  • What lighting concept is used in the Westerscheldetunnel?

    The lighting in the Westerscheldetunnel meets Dutch national standards, the CEN (European Committee for Standardization) requirements and the recommendations by NSVV (Netherlands Highway Engineering Body). Tunnels can be roughly divided into two groups: daylight and night tunnels. The lighting in daylight tunnels is as similar as possible to the lighting outside of the tunnel. A night tunnel is darker and takes as a basis the minimum quantity of light that is needed for safe driving conditions. The Netherlands mainly has short tunnels. Furthermore, in a short tunnel, the human eye does not have enough time to adapt to a lower level of lighting. For this reason, short tunnels are brightly lit. The Westerscheldetunnel is 6.6 kilometres long and is an extremely long road tunnel. Therefore the night-tunnel concept was used here.

    Eye adjustment
    Human eyes need time to adapt to changes in lighting. This can be longer for some people than for others. When driving into the Westerscheldetunnel, the lighting level reduces over the first 350 metres. The carriageway is then constantly lit by means of so-called ‘point source lights’ which have light fittings on the ceiling of the tunnel. The lighting level is also adjusted in the outbound part of the tunnel. In order to avoid motorists becoming dazzled when leaving the tunnel, anti-dazzle screens have been fitted at the end of the Westerscheldetunnel, at Terneuzen.

    Distraction caused by flicker
    Light sources are fitted to the ceiling of the Westerscheldetunnel. This is known as ‘point source lighting’. Since the lighting is fitted above the road surface, motorists can experience a ‘flickering’ effect. To reduce distraction from flicker at 100 km/h (this is also known as the strobe effect), the lights must be spaced at intervals ranging from 1.8 metres to 11 metres. The light sources in the Westerscheldetunnel are spaced at intervals of 16 metres.

    Other lighting
    In addition to the ‘conventional’ carriageway lighting, other forms of lighting are also used in the tunnel. Examples of this are the lighting of emergency doors, lighting at emergency stations and naturally the light from other traffic. The safety regulations for the tunnel state that emergency facilities inside the tunnel must be lit. Since it is relatively dark inside the tunnel, other points of light rapidly become annoying distractions. This has been taken this into consideration as much as possible in the Westerscheldetunnel. Both the emergency doors and the emergency stations are lit with LED strips that provide diffused light instead of bright lighting from a single point of light.

  • Why is the lightning of the Westerschelde tunnel in comparison to the Sluiskil tunnel?

    The lighting in the Westerschelde tunnel and the Sluiskil tunnel differs because of the length of both tunnels. It is legally set. Short tunnels, such as the Sluiskil tunnel are decorated according to the daylight concept with bright walls. Long tunnels, such as the Westerschelde tunnel, are furnished to the night tunnel concept with dark walls.

  • What measures have been taken to reduce flicker nuisance caused by lighting?

    The lighting in the Westerschelde Tunnel is compliant with the legislated Dutch standards, the CEN (European Committee for Standardisation) requirements and the recommendations of the NSVV (Netherlands Lighting Association). In addition, TNO (Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research) conducted research into flicker nuisance caused by lighting. A number of requirements must be met to prevent flicker nuisance. Among other things this includes the requirement that at a speed of 100 km/h, distances of 1.80 to 11 metres between light sources must be avoided. The distance between light sources in the Westerschelde Tunnel is 16 metres. At the entrance of the tunnel this is somewhat less in relation to the transition from daylight. In this area flicker nuisance may be experienced along a limited distance.

  • What lighting measures have been implemented at the entrance and exit of the tunnel?

    When you drive into the tunnel you drive from light into a dark tunnel. The intensity of the lighting along the first 350 metres of the tunnel is automatically regulated to provide for a smooth transition. In the event of extreme light intensity outside on a sunny day, the lighting projected at road users is automatically set to full intensity. During the hours of darkness, the lighting at the entrance of the tunnel is as much as possible dimmed. When you exit the tunnel, you drive upwards from a dark environment and into, sometimes extremely bright, sunlight. To prevent blinding, anti-blinding screens have been placed at the exit of the West Tube (Zeeuws-Vlaanderen).

  • What about height detection?

Safety

  • What safety features are installed in the Westerschelde Tunnel?

    1. Fans. The tunnel’s carbon monoxide concentration, temperature and visibility are automatically measured. Should the measured values exceed the maximum permissible limits, for example in the event of a traffic jam, the fans in the tunnel are automatically activated and displace the exhaust fumes. In the event of fire they blow away the smoke and gases into the driving direction.
    2. Continuous radio reception. There is continuous radio reception in the tunnel. This means that in the event of incidents you can receive messages from the tunnel operator via radio (Radio 1, Radio 2, Radio 3, Radio 4, Omroep Zeeland, Q-Music, Radio 538, Skyradio, Veronica and Terneuzen FM.)
    3. ‘Emergency-get-out’ signs. In the event of incidents, such as a tunnel fire for example, the tunnel operator decides whether motorists should quickly leave their cars and proceed to another tunnel tube. If so, the instruction ‘Alarm-stap-uit’ (‘Emergency-get-out’) will appear on these emergency signs. Always immediately comply with this instruction.
    4. Escape doors. The Westerschelde Tunnel has a total of 26 communicating passages, one every 250 metres. In emergency situations, the tunnel operator will unlock the escape doors of the communicating passages, so that you can escape to another tunnel tube. Each communicating passage has an intercom that enables you to speak directly with the tunnel operator.
    5. Cameras and public address system. Traffic jams are detected on a timely basis by the detection system embedded in the road surface and by the cameras. The tunnel operator can take traffic control measures on this basis. He/she can adjust the maximum speeds via the matrix signs above the road, cross off lanes and issue warnings that there are people on the roadway. In the event of an incident, the tunnel operator can alert users via the public address system.
    6. Emergency stations. There is an emergency station every 50 metres in the tunnel. If you open up such an emergency station, the tunnel operator in the control room receives a signal and the camera at the emergency station is automatically activated. You can communicate directly with the tunnel operator via the intercom. In addition, there is a foam fire extinguisher and a fire hose.
  • What should I do in the event of a breakdown in the tunnel?

    1. Turn on your emergency lights.
    2. Go and stand on the extreme far right side of the road.
    3. Turn off your engine.
    4. Call for help via the intercom in one of the emergency stations.
    5. Follow the operator’s instructions.
  • What should I do in the event of traffic jams in the tunnel?

    1. Turn on your emergency lights.
    2. Follow the instructions on the matrix signs above the road.
    3. Keep your distance, even when you are driving slowly or standing still.
    4. Turn off your engine when you are standing still.
    5. Listen to the messages issued by the tunnel operator via one of the following stations: Radio 1, Radio 2, Radio 3, Radio 4, Omroep Zeeland, Q-Music, Radio 538, Skyradio, Veronica and Terneuzen FM.
    6. Follow the instructions of the tunnel operator issued via the public address system.
    7. Follow the instructions of on-site tunnel personnel.
  • What should I do in the event of a fire in the tunnel?

    1. Go and stand on the extreme far right side of the road.
    2. Turn off your engine and leave your key in the ignition.
    3. Leave your car.
    4. Call for help via the intercom in one of the emergency stations.
    5. If possible, extinguish the fire with the foam fire extinguisher or the fire hose in one of the emergency stations.
    6. Follow the instructions of the tunnel operator issued via the public address system.
    7. As quickly as possible proceed to another tunnel tube where it is safe, via a communicating passage.
  • Is towing of a vehicle through the tunnel permitted?

    A vehicle may be towed through the Westerschelde Tunnel, provided this is done using a tow-bar or another fixed link.
    Towing a vehicle with a rope is prohibited.

  • How safe is the Westerschelde Tunnel?

    Safety is given the highest priority. The Westerschelde Tunnel is one of the safest tunnels in Europe. The tunnel consists of two separate tunnel tubes, each with two lanes. This means there is no oncoming traffic. Communicating passages every 250 metres guarantee the availability of a safe escape route in case of emergencies. Furthermore, there is a well-lit emergency station every 50 metres with a foam fire extinguisher, a fire hose and an intercom for direct contact with the tunnel operator. The operator permanently monitors the tunnel with the aid of modern equipment, such as cameras, detection equipment, traffic controls and emergency stations. The operator is also the contact for the road user and, depending on the situation, alerts the external services, the car breakdown services or the emergency services.

    Attention! Your own driving behaviour is a co-determining factor in the safety of yourself and other road users.

  • How safe is the Westerscheldetunnel when there is a fire?

    The Netherlands has a standard for submerged tunnels that specifies how thick the heat-resistant lining needs to be in this kind of tunnel to resist a 2-hour fire that reaches a maximum temperature of 1350°C.

    It was initially believed that the normal thickness of the heat-resistant lining for submerged tunnels (27 mm sheets) would also be sufficient for the Westerscheldetunnel. In order to determine the exact thickness of the lining for the tunnel, the high-pressure forces on the tunnel ring were replicated during real-scale flammability tests. These tests revealed that the temperature in the extremely dense concrete of the segments rose rapidly which caused the concrete to spatter.

    To avoid this, we had to use a heat-resistant lining that was considerably thicker than the usual 27 mm lining. In the additional flammability tests that followed, we tested sheets of the material and also a sprayed-on heat-resistant lining. On the basis of these tests, we eventually decided to use a heat-resistant lining in the form of a sprayed-on mortar of 45 mm.

  • Why are an emergency exercise and a test of the disaster facilities conducted?

    An emergency exercise and a test of the disaster facilities are conducted once each year to test all safety procedures and systems. A disaster exercise is organised for and by all emergency services (police, fire department, ambulances) to enable them to effectively respond in the event that a real disaster occurs. The exercise takes place on the access and exit roads as well as in both tunnel tubes. The entire tunnel is then of course closed down to traffic. The exercise is announced well in advance so that everyone has the opportunity of selecting an alternate route. It is legally mandatory for a large-scale disaster exercise to be organised at least once every four years.

  • What actions does the tunnel operator take when the roads threaten to become slippery?

    Sensors are embedded in the road surface of the Westerschelde Tunnel route that every five minutes measure the temperature. The operator reviews these values using a special program. If there is much condensation on the road surface and the forecast calls for frost, the salt spreader is dispatched. The aim is for the road to have been salted before it becomes slippery. Slippery roads caused by snowfall cannot entirely be prevented. It is only possible to clear the snow after it has fallen. The operators’ aim is to be as well-prepared as possible ahead of time and to intervene as quickly as possible.

Information per vehicle

  • Can any vehicle make use of the tunnel?

    All vehicles that can and are permitted to drive 80 km/h are permitted to use the Westerschelde Tunnel. Slow traffic, such as mopeds, cyclists, microcars and pedestrians are therefore not permitted to go through the tunnel. N.V. Westerscheldetunnel has special regulations for agricultural traffic.

  • What are the maximum dimensions for vehicles?

    The maximum width of a vehicle is 4 metres. The maximum height is 4.3 metres. Vehicles wider than 3 metres and/or higher than 4 metres must apply for a permit from the Government Road Transport Agency (RDW). You can apply online or via 0900-0739 (+31 598 39 33 30 from abroad).

  • Is it allowed to transport hazardous materials through the tunnel?

    The transport of dangerous goods is regulated by the European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR).  

    The Westerschelde tunnel and the Sluiskil Tunnel are both a Category C tunnels. This means that vehicles carrying dangerous goods that may cause a serious or very serious explosion or a major escape of toxic substances are not allowed to use the tunnels.

  • Why are trucks prohibited from passing?

    To guarantee the safety of all road users, trucks are prohibited from passing. This reduces the risk of hazardous situations. Enforcement is the responsibility of the police and the department of justice. Furthermore, the operator on the basis of the general terms and conditions governing infractions can call the driver of the vehicle to account at the toll plaza or via the T-tag information.

  • What are the rules for special transport?

    To make use of the tunnel, all freight traffic higher than 4 metres, wider than 3 metres, longer than 18 metres or exceptionally heavy, must apply for a permit from the Government Road Transport Agency (RDW). You can apply online or via 0900-0739 (+31 598 39 33 30 from abroad).

    Furthermore, the following two conditions are important for this type of transport:
    - You must contact the control room at least two working days (2x24 hours) prior to the start of the transport at +31 (0) 113 39 60 80 or via e-mail exceptioneelvervoer@westerscheldetunnel.nl.
    - One hour before arriving at the tunnel you must contact the Westerschelde Tunnel operator at +31 113 39 60 80. 

    For vehicles wider than 3.5 metres you must arrange for your own transport escort. This is required by law. 

     

    Attention! All vehicles with a width from 2.8 metres can only make use of the outside toll lane, number 7. These lanes are wider than the rest and specifically designed for special transport. Every roadway is equipped with an intercom via which the driver can contact the operator in the control room.

    In order to be able to take traffic measures, if necessary, you must:

    • for a transit from north to south (from Zuid-Beveland to Zeeuws-Vlaanderen): position yourself at the far right hand side of the toll plaza (bus lane) and report via the above-referenced telephone number;
    • for a transit from south to north (from Zeeuws-Vlaanderen to Zuid-Beveland): report via the above-referenced telephone number before driving into the tunnel.
  • Can I drive through the tunnel with an agricultural vehicle?

    Yes, that’s possible. N.V. Westerscheldetunnel has special regulations for agricultural traffic. You require an exemption to make use of the tunnel. You can request this exemption separately for each transit at a cost of € 10 per transit. It is also possible to obtain an annual exemption at a cost of € 100.

    Notice of the transit of agricultural traffic must be provided in advance. You do this by sending this document by mail, e-mail or fax to the tunnel operator. The address details are contained in the procedure. Attention! Even when you have an annual exemption, you must still notify the tunnel operator in advance of transiting the tunnel.

  • Which bus lines travel through the Westerschelde Tunnel?

    The route of two bus lines goes through the tunnel: Line 20 from Sas van Gent to Goes, via Terneuzen, and Line 50 from Hulst to Middelburg, via Terneuzen. These bus lines have a transfer point with a waiting room at the toll plaza, near Borssele and at the bus station in Terneuzen. Travellers can transfer to regional lines to the various municipalities in Zuid-Beveland, Walcheren and Zeeuws-Vlaanderen at this point. The buses during the day in principle make this trip every half hour or every hour. Transport through the tunnel is included in the price of the bus ticket. The public transportation connections are operated by Connexxion.

  • Can I take my bicycle/moped with me through the tunnel?

    If you want to take your bicycle or moped, you'll have to take it along with you on the bus. You must inform the bus company, Connexxion, at least one hour before the bus’ departure at 0113-23 33 33. They will then reserve room in the bus for this. You can then continue with your bicycle/moped at the toll plaza in s’-Heerenhoek, near Borssele, or at the bus station in Terneuzen. For additional information visit: www.connexxion.nl.

Availability

  • When is the tunnel accessible for me to drive through?

    Practically always: in total, the tunnel is over 98% available for a safe, fast and comfortable transit. 24 hours per day, seven days per week. To keep availability at the maximum possible level, an efficient maintenance schedule is maintained and incidents are meticulously and quickly dealt with.

  • How do I know when the tunnel is obstructed?

    Before departing you can access current travel information at www.westerscheldetunnel.nl. You can also subscribe to our SMS service. You will then receive an SMS message whenever there is a long-lasting obstruction. Furthermore, while travelling, you can also obtain information via Twitter at @WSTverkeer, our mobile website, from the information signs posted along the road, the public address system in and prior to the tunnel and the traffic information provided via Omroep Zeeland Radio (87.9 FM).

  • When is an unannounced decision taken to close off the tunnel?

    N.V. Westerscheldetunnel has the obligation of guaranteeing the safety of tunnel users, emergency services and its own employees. Whenever safety is endangered, a temporary closure is the only option. The decision is carefully considered by experienced and expert individuals, based on procedures. These procedures were developed in consultation with the municipalities and the emergency services.

  • Does the Westerscheldetunnel also have set diversion routes?

    There are three set diversion routes, or alternative routes that connect to the road from the Westerscheldetunnel. These are U21 (Vlissingen-Antwerp), U9 (Antwerp-Vlissingen) and U10 (DOW Disaster Route).

    These alternative routes are deployed if the road becomes blocked for longer periods of time, for instance after an accident. Motorists will then be notified of the respective ‘U number’ of the road and will be able to follow the blue signs with this number to reach their destination via the diversion in place.

  • What about closed lanes?

    If a vehicle has a breakdown in or just outside the tunnel, the lane on which the vehicle is will be closed. A speed limit is set in the other lane. If there are still people walking in the tunnel, there is a speed limit of 50 km/h. Otherwise the limit is 70 km/h.

    The Dutch tunnel safety legislation does not allow a reduction of lanes inside the tunnel. So if there is a breakdown in or just outside the tunnel a lane is closed throughout the entire tunnel. The legislation does allow to increase lanes. So if you're past the unfortunate car, there will be two lanes available.

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    Translation is 'under construction'

  • What happens if someone wants to enter the tunnel with a vehicle that is too high?

    A detection system has been installed ahead of the tunnel that detects vehicles that are too high and diverts them via a separate service road. If the driver nevertheless continues driving, the operator is forced to close off the relevant tunnel tube and alert the police.

  • How and when is a broken down car removed from the tunnel?

    The tunnel operator arranges for the rapid and professional towing of a vehicle. If a vehicle abruptly comes to a halt, the tunnel operator receives an emergency signal with the image of the precise location. This way the operator immediately sees what is happening. He/she immediately places a message on the matrix signs in the tunnel. A red cross is displayed above the lane in which the car is stranded. The speed limit in the other lane is reduced to 50 km/h.N.V. Westerscheldetunnel’s special car breakdown service proceeds as quickly as possible to the site. Depending on the type of vehicle and the nature of the breakdown, the vehicle is towed out of the tunnel by N.V. Westerscheldetunnel’s car breakdown service or a certified towing company. The tunnel tube is closed off for a maximum of half an hour for the purpose of towing a car. The towing costs are for the account of the driver.

  • How and when is a broken down truck removed from the tunnel?

    The tunnel operator arranges for the rapid and professional towing of a vehicle. If a vehicle abruptly comes to a halt, the tunnel operator receives an emergency signal with the image of the precise location. This way the operator immediately sees what is happening. He/she immediately places a message on the matrix signs in the tunnel. A red cross is displayed above the lane in which the truck is stranded. The speed limit in the other lane is reduced to 50 km/h.N.V. Westerscheldetunnel’s special car breakdown service proceeds as quickly as possible to the site. A truck is always towed outside peak hours by a certified towing company. The peak hours during the week are from 06:00 to 9:30 hours and from 15:00 to 19:30 hours. The tunnel tube is closed off for a maximum of one hour for the purpose of towing a truck. If the towing operation takes longer than an hour, the operation is delayed until after 19:30. Exceptions to this rule are dangerously positioned trucks and trucks carrying hazardous goods or live goods. The towing costs are for the account of the driver.

  • Why is the tunnel tube closed off for the purpose of towing a vehicle?

    To ensure the safety of the driver and passengers, as well as the individuals performing the towing operation.N.V. Westerscheldetunnel has the obligation of guaranteeing the safety of tunnel users, emergency services and its own employees. This is only possible by temporarily closing off the tunnel. Stranded cars are immediately towed, within as well as outside peak hours. The relevant tunnel tube is closed off for a maximum of half an hour for this purpose. Trucks are always towed outside peak hours. The tunnel tube is closed off for a maximum of one hour for this purpose.

  • What is the procedure for broken down vehicles?

    If a truck breaks down in rush hour between 06:00 and 09:30 am or 15:00 to 19:30. The truck will not be towed untill the rush hour has passed.Traffic can still pass on one lane. 


    Broken down cars are recovered directly, both in and outside the rush hours, as this can be done relatively quickly.

  • Why is two-way traffic not immediately instituted during a closure?

    Two-way traffic through a single tunnel tube is only instituted outside peak periods. In other words between the off-peak hours of 21:00 - 5:00 hours. Initiating and halting two-way traffic takes at least half an hour, provided that advance preparations have been made. In addition, traffic jams are not permitted in the tunnel for reasons of safety. The main reason that no traffic jams and no two-way traffic is permitted in the tunnel outside the off-peak hours, is due to the operation of the ventilation system. In the event of fire/smoke formation, the ventilation system in the tube in which the incident occurred is activated to operate in the direction of traffic. The motorists located ahead of the incident, simply drive out of the tunnel and are not affected by the fire and the toxic fumes. The motorists behind the fire do not have any possibility of driving away. The ventilation system blows away the smoke/toxic air and supplies purified air. It is unacceptable for people to be unable to drive out of the tunnel due to a traffic jam or oncoming traffic, and so end up stranded in toxic vapours.

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    to be continued

  • Why not periodically change the direction of traffic of desolving traffic queues?

    In 2012 the NV Westerscheldetunnel researched the possibility of “periodically changing the direction of traffic in one available tube” when the other tube isn’t available for a longer period of time. Meaning allowing traffic through one tube in one direction for a certain period of time, then alternating the direction of traffic and allowing traffic from the other direction for the same period of time. This is to dissolve the waiting queue of cars on both sides of the tunnel. 

    Because the Westerscheldetunnel is 6.6km long, it takes a relatively long time to ‘empty’ the tube in one direction to allow traffic in the opposite direction. Therefore, ideally, a minimum period of one hour per direction is needed to dissolve the waiting traffic. This, unfortunately, causes traffic problems in Zeeuws Vlaanderen. The intensity of traffic in Terneuzen will become too high with blockages as a result. Especially during peak hours.

    Therefore, the only alternative during a closure that takes longer than 1.5 hours is to divert the traffic over Antwerp.

    To divert traffic NV Westerschelde uses traffic signs next to and over the road. The diversions over Antwerp are marked by U-plates (U09 and U21). Next to that we communicate through Twitter, the availability app “WST Verkeer” and e-mail and SMS alerts to keep travellers informed. Would you like to stay informed? Click here.
    (Please note: alerts are only available in Dutch)

     

     

     

     

     

  • Why is the tunnel repeatedly opened and closed?

    When it's busy it sometimes is required to regulate the traffic allowed in the Westerschelde tunnel. The tunnel is then repeatedly opened and closed for a few minutes at a time. It is used for safety reasons to avoid traffic jams inside the tunnel.

  • Is it possible to receive compensation in the event of an unannounced closure?

    Safe transit through the tunnel is the number one priority for N.V. Westerscheldetunnel. It is not possible to receive compensation for the delay caused by an unannounced closure.

  • Why is there less communication about traffic obstructions at night?

    The period between 23:00 and 06:00 hours is an 'information poor' period. Main reason is that during those hours, a minimum number of customers is using our tunnel. It is not benificial to wake everyone at 2:00 AM with a text message about a traffic incident that only very few will experience nuisance from.

Maintenance

  • How often is maintenance performed in the tunnel?

    Regular maintenance is performed once every four weeks in the tunnel, during the night of Tuesday to Wednesday between 21:00 and at the latest 04:30 hours. A single tunnel tube is available during maintenance for traffic in both directions, which means that there is oncoming traffic during that time. Speed restrictions apply during that period.

  • What activities are carried out during regular maintenance?

    Various activities are carried out during maintenance, including cleaning of the road markings and signs, checking lamps, washing walls, checking and testing installations, repairing damage and defects, and cleaning street gullies among others.

  • Why does the tunnel need to close fully once a year?

    Once a year, the Westerscheldetunnel is closed fully in order to test the disaster systems. We perform this test every year so that we can guarantee safety in the event of a disaster. During the test, we enact various disaster scenarios. This means that both tunnel tubes must be kept free of traffic. In order to be able to make the most efficient use of the closure, we combine these activities with extensive maintenance work.

    For the next scheduled full closure, see our maintenance timetable .

     

Roads surrounding the tunnel

  • What is the maximum speed I am allowed to drive on the access and exit roads?

    Like the road through the tunnel, the access and exit roads are motorways. This means that you are allowed to drive 100 km/h unless otherwise indicated.
    Attention! While the maximum speed is 100 km/h, some vehicles, by law, are not permitted to drive faster than 80 km/h or 90 km/h. This applies to this route as well.

  • What progress is being made on the N62?

    The Sloeweg on Zuid-Beveland and the Tractaatweg in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen, both part of the N62 provincial road, are the most important feeder and transport roads for the Westerschelde Tunnel and the Sloegebied and Kanaalzone industrial regions. Both roads currently only have a single roadway with two lanes and at-grade intersections, such as traffic lights. For improved traffic safety and circulation, doubling is essential. This is planned for the future. The start of this project is planned for the beginning of 2014 by the Provincie Zeeland. Please check their website for more information.

     

Traffic alerts

  • How is traffic information provided?

    Various tools are used to provide traffic information.  

    The website www.westerscheldetunnel.nl
    ● The mobile app WSTVerkeer (for Android and iOS)
    Twitter Account WSTVerkeer
    RSS


    Als you
    can register via "My Tunnel 'for:
    ● E-mail alerts
     Text alerts

  • Does the traffic information about the Westerschelde tunnel and Sluiskil tunnel differ?

    Yes, for both tunnel are specific tools available. 
     

    Overview of tools

    Tools  

    Westerscheldetunnel       

    Sluiskiltunnel       

    App WST-Verkeer

    Yes

    Yes

    Twitter WSTVerkeer

    Yes

    Yes

    Text alerts

    Yes

    No

    E-mail alerts

    Yes

    No

    RSS

    Yes

    No

  • How can I download the App?

    You’ll find the WSTVerkeer app for Android smart phones in the Play Store. For iPhone, the app can be downloaded in the AppStore. Search for WSTVerkeer. The app is free in both stores.

  • Do I need to pay for app?

    No, the app ‘WST Verkeer’ is free to download from the App Store (Apple iOS) or the Google Play Store.

  • Do I receive push notifications automatically?

    No,the push notifications are not automatically activated when you have downloaded the app. Go to the settings menu to set your preferences for receiving notifications: which direction,  which days of the week and during which hours of the day you would like to receive the notifications. Please note: to update the current status, the app needs an internet connection. The app updates every two minutes.

  • How can I receive push notifications on the availability of the Westerschelde Tunnel and its adjacent roads?

    When you would like to receive push notifications, you’ll have to give the app permission to do so. The push notifications are not automatically activated when you have downloaded the app. Go to the settings menu to set your preferences for receiving notifications: which direction,  which days of the week and during which hours of the day you would like to receive the notifications. Please note: to update the current status, the app needs an internet connection. The app updates every two minutes.

     

  • How do I know what’s going on when the availability status is other than ‘open’?

    When the current availability status is other than ‘open’, this status is ‘clickable’. Click on the status and an explanation is given.

  • Does the app also run on iPad?

    The app is make for iPhone, but does also run on iPad. The app keeps the iPhone format. To receive push notifications an internet connections is required.

  • What is an E-mail alert?

    E-mail alerts are sent when there is an unforeseen road closure on the route of the Westerschelde tunnel between 06.00 and 23.00. You can specify whether you want to receive information on long closures (more than half an hour) or on all road blocks. Receiving the alerts is a free service.

     

    Create a My Tunnel account or go to my profile

  • How can I sign up for the E-mail alerts?

    To sign up for e-mail alerts you need to have an account for My Tunnel.

    If you already have an account for My Tunnel:

    1 Log in to My Tunnel.
    2 In the menu on the left, go to 'My details'
    3 In 'When would you like to receive an email?’ choose between  only prolonged closures’ or 'all closures'
    4 Click on 'Save'
    5. From then on you will be kept informed by e-mail

    If you don’t have an account yet:

    1 Go to My Tunnel on this website
    2 Enter your personal information
    3 Check 'Sign me up for e-mail alerts’
    4 Click on 'Save'
    5. You will receive a confirmation email to the specified e-mail address. Click on the link in the e-mail within 7 days to activate your account.
    6 You are now logged for e-mail alerts for prolonged closures. If you want to change this, log in on My Tunnel and go to 'My details'.

     

    Create a My Tunnel account or go to my profile

  • Is there a fee to receive E-mail Alerts?

    No, receiving E-mail Alerts is a free service.

  • What is a Text Alert?

    Text alertsare designed for peoplewho regularlyuse theWesterschelde tunnel andwho have a mobilephone, butnot a smartphone. Areyou inpossession of asmartphone, download our freeappWST Verkeer’ from the AppStore orGoogle Play.

    Text alertsare sentwhenunplanned traffic jams occur onthe route of theWesterschelde tunnel between06:00and23:00.You canspecify whetheryou only want information aboutlong closures(more than half an hour) or about allclosures.Additionally, you canset the daysand timesyouwant to receivealertsand forwhich direction.Receiving text messagesis free.There is no subscriptioncharge.

     

    Create a My Tunnel account or go to my profile

  • How can I sign up for the Text alerts?

    To sign up for text alerts you will need to have an account for My Tunnel.

    If you already have an account for My Tunnel:
    1 Log on to My Tunnel
    2 In the menu on the left, go to 'My details'
    3. Under subscriptions you’ll find ‘Text alerts’. Choose between ‘only prolonged closures’ or ‘All closures'
    4 Enter the telephone number of your mobile phone
    5. Click 'Save'
    6 You will receive a verification code on your phone
    7 Enter this code in the text box "Verification code" on the page 'My details'
    8 Then specify days and time frames for each direction
    9 Click 'Save' and your text alerts are set.

    If you do not have an account for My Tunnel:
    1 Go to My Tunnel 
    2 Enter your personal information
    3 Check 'Sign me up for SMS alerts
    4 Enter your mobile number
    5. Click 'Save'
    6 You will receive a confirmation e-mail to the specified e-mail address. Click on the link in the email within 7 days to activate your account
    7 You will receive a text message with a verification code to your mobile number. Go to 'My details' in my tunnel to enter the activation code
    8 Choose between ‘only prolonged closures’ or ‘All closures'
    9 Then specify days and time frames for each direction
    10 Click 'Save' and your text alerts are set.

    Please note: our alerts are only send in Dutch.

    Create a My Tunnel account or go to my profile

  • Is there a fee to receive Text Alerts?

    No, receiving Text Alerts is a free service.

  • I already receive E-mail alerts, but I would also like to receive a Text alerts. How can I apply for it?

    If you receive e-mail alerts, then you are a member of My Tunnel. In My Tunnel you can customize your preferences after logging in. Go to the menu "My Account" on the left. There you can change your personal information and check which services you would like to use.

  • Why is there less communication about traffic obstructions at night?

    The period between 23:00 and 06:00 hours is an 'information poor' period. Main reason is that during those hours, a minimum number of customers is using our tunnel. It is not benificial to wake everyone at 2:00 AM with a text message about a traffic incident that only very few will experience nuisance from.

  • Can I choose a different sound for push notifications?

    The WSTVerkeer app uses the standard notification sound chosen. It is nog posible to change this for the WSTVerkeer app.

  • How can I subscribe or unsubscribe for the corporate newsletter?

    If you are a member of My Tunnel, you can subscribe after logging in. Go to the menu "My Account" on the left. There you can change your personal information and check which services you would like to use.

    If you're not a member of My Tunnel, then you can sign up or sign out on this page. Please note: our newsletter is only published in Dutch

My Tunnel

  • What is My Tunnel?

    By registering with My Tunnel, you get access to extras within our website. Download the mobile app 'WSTVerkeer', sign up for our Text or E-mail Alerts, subscribe to our newsletter or sign up for activities that are only accessible to My Tunnel members, such as the Night of the Tunnel.

    No tunnel account yet? Sign up for free.  

  • I forgot my password. How can I login on My Tunnel?

    Click on "Forgotten your password?" on the login page. A new (temporary) password will be send to the e-mail address that you use for My Tunnel. After logging in with the temporary password, you can change the password to a password of your choice.

  • I get an e-mail with my t-tag credits, but I am unable to log in on My Tunnel on the website. What can I do now?

    The e-mail with the t-tag credit and usage-overview is delivered to you by Movenience. Movenience manages everything related to the t-tag. If you receive the usage-overview from Movenience, that does not automatically mean that you are also a member of My Tunnel on the website from the Westerschelde Tunnel. You will need to register there first.

    Members of My Tunnel can subscribe to the newsletter of the Westerschelde Tunnel, free Text and E-mail Alerts, and can also use other services and offers. Membership is free.

    Also want to join? Click here.

Westerscheldetunnel (specifieke informatie)

  • Where is the Westerschelde Tunnel located?

    The tunnel is located between Ellewoutsdijk (Zuid-Beveland) and Terneuzen (Zeeuws-Vlaanderen). To the north, the tunnel road connects to the A58 motorway between Middelburg and Goes and to the south to the N61.

  • What is the length of the Westerschelde Tunnel?

    6.6 kilometres.

  • What is the deepest point of the Westerschelde Tunnel?

    60 metres below the Amsterdam Ordnance Datum (NAP).

  • What is the Westerschelde Tunnel’s percentage incline?

    Maximum 4.5%.

  • Who is the tunnel’s owner?

    N.V. Westerschelde Tunnel manages and operates the tunnel. The Province of Zeeland is the 100% shareholder. N.V. Westerscheldetunnel has unique knowledge and experience in the Netherlands in the area of toll collection, tunnel and road management, maintenance, and traffic and incident management. Its subsidiary, Movenience B.V., processes the T-tag transactions.

  • How many clients drive through the Westerscheldetunnel each day?

    The Westerschelde Tunnel accommodates more than 15,000 transits per day.

  • Is the tunnel monitored for speed?

    Road users in the Westerschelde Tunnel are permanently monitored for speed on the basis of the distance travelled (section speed control).This involves measuring the speed at a number of points that are a certain distance apart and the average speed is calculated on the basis of the time taken to pass these points. The maximum permissible speed for motorists is 100 km/h. Exceeding the speed limit in tunnels creates highly dangerous situations. The use of this speed control system sharply reduces the number of speed infractions and in this way promotes traffic safety. Section speed control is carried out by the Public Prosecution Service. For more information about the speed control system visit: www.openbaarministerie.nl.

  • What are the white marks on the walls of the tunnel?

    From time to time, water seeps in through the tunnel wall. This is mainly due to the connection between two tunnel rings. The white marks are created when the leaked water dries on the surface and leaves behind residues of calcium on the heat-resistant lining of the tunnel. You can often see a white discharge on new brickwork, for instance when new houses are being built. This is known as ‘efflorescence’ and goes away on its own. The white marks on the tunnel are actually the same phenomenon.

  • Does the Westerscheldetunnel leak?

    Yes, it does. All tunnels leak. This happens because a tunnel is made up of separate sections. Water mainly leaks around the joints between the tunnel segments. These segments have a rubber seal. When it is warm, the tunnel structure expands. It contracts when temperatures fall. This means that tunnels leak more during Winter months than during the Summer.

    The leakage water is collected beneath the carriageway in the lowest part of the tunnel. This is called the sole of the tunnel. The water flows through pipes from the sole of the tunnel to a total of four pump pits. This water is then pumped back into the Westerschelde estuary from the pump pits.

    The Westerscheldetunnel is designed to allow for a maximum of 22 m3 of leakage water every twenty-four hours. This is 22,000 litres and the pump capacity has been calculated for this volume. In practice, the tunnel leaks far less. In 2003 (the year of its opening), the Eastern Tunnel leaked approximately 3 m3 every twenty-four hours and the Westerscheldetunnel leaked 3.5 m3 during the same period. The volume of leakage water is falling each year. In 2012, the Eastern Tunnel leaked 2.2 m3 and the Western Tunnel leaked 2.8 m3 of water every twenty-four hours.

  • What causes the icicles in the tunnel and when are these removed?

    During wintry weather conditions, leaking water or moist air freezes at the start of the tunnel and often forms icicles. The formation of icicles is an unpredictable process that depends on temperature, humidity and wind. Due to the size of the icicles they can constitute a hazard to all traffic. Removal of icicles is planned for outside peak hours, unless it is unavoidable for safety reasons. Closure of the tunnel to remove icicles only takes a few minutes.

Toll Plaza

  • Where do I park if I want to carpool?

    N.V. Westerscheldetunnel has constructed a parking area especially for carpooling on the eastern side of the toll plaza (on the side of the head office), with 40 free parking spaces. The parking area can be reached by following the P+R signs. After parking you can walk to the other side of the toll plaza via the pedestrian bridge above the toll gates. There is an auxiliary lane at the right hand side of the toll plaza with the sign Kiss & Ride where carpooling passengers can embark. People who are carpooling are not permitted to park here. The area is exclusively limited to embarking and disembarking.

  • Why are motorcycle riders forced to pass by the cash lanes?

    Because of the distance between the wheels and the fact that some motorcycles contain so little iron that they are not properly detected by the magnetic loops embedded in the road surface. For their own safety motor cyclists should pass through a cash lane. Next to that, when a motor cycle passes, it is categorised in category 1. The category must be changed by hand to category 5. For they pay a lower fare. Motor cyclists that use a t-tag, should also use the cash lane, to scan the device by hand. Since 2012 the M-card for motor cyclists is introduced. It replaces the t-tag for a must handier format for motor cyclists. Please check the Movenience website for more information.

     

  • What if the barrier doesn’t open in a toll lane

    If the barrier doesn’t open, press the intercom button in the lane. You will then receive further instructions.

  • How wide are the toll lanes?

    The distance between the curbs of toll lanes 1 to 6 inclusive is 3.1 metres. Lane 7 is 4.3 metres.

  • Why is Lane 4 reserved for traffic of a limited height?

    The height restriction was imposed after large transports a number of times hit the tollbooth in Lane 5 while passing through Lane 4. It is impossible to relocate the tollbooth, as a result of which the only option was to impose a height restriction. This provides a better level of guarantee in terms of the safety of the toll collectors in Lane 5.

  • Why is the maximum speed on the toll plaza limited to 30 km/h?

    The maximum speed on the toll plaza is 30 km/h for safety reasons. This speed makes it possible to guarantee the safe and gradual through flow of different vehicles. It is also safer for N.V. Westerscheldetunnel employees who are obliged to physically cross the lanes.

  • What is a toll collector?

    A toll collector is a person who collects tolls at the cash register.

Toll rates

  • Why do I have to pay tolls?

    It was a condition for the construction of the Westerschelde Tunnel that a portion of the investments was to be recovered by levying tolls.

  • Who sets the rates?

    N.V. Westerscheldetunnel’s mission is to strive for optimal service at the lowest possible rates. Everything concerning the rates is set down in the special Westerschelde Tunnel Act. This includes the rate structure and the maximum increases.

  • What are the rates?

    The Westerschelde Tunnel transit rate depends on the vehicle used to make the transit.

    We have identified the following vehicle categories on the basis of height and length:
    Category 1: length less than or equal to 6 metres and height less than or equal to 3 metres (passenger cars, motorcycles, off-road vehicles, all without trailer).
    Category 2: length greater than 6 metres and height of the tractor vehicle less than or equal to 3 metres (most Category 1 vehicles with a trailer).
    Category 3: length less than or equal to 12 metres and height greater than 3 metres.
    Category 4: length greater than 12 metres and height greater than 3 metres.
    Category 5: motorcycles.

    Click here for a summary of the current rates.

  • Why was the toll free day introduced?

  • When are the toll-free days in 2014?

    The toll-free days in 2014 are 25 January 2014, 22 February 2014, 29 March 2014, 27 September 2014, 25 October 2014 and 29 November 2014.

  • What factors are used to determine the height of a vehicle?

    The height of the entire vehicle determines its height. The limit is 3 metres. Accessories attached to the roof and the cargo transported, such as flashing lights, bicycles, cooling systems and the like, are included in the calculation of the height.

  • How do I pay at the tunnel?

    There are four ways of effecting payment:
    1. Via the T-tag subscription: the fastest and most economical way.
    2. Credit Card: American Express, Visa, MasterCard, DKV, EuroShell and Routex
    3. Smart Card
    4. Cash

    Over the course of 2012 it will also be possible to use a debit card in the cash lane.

  • How do I know where I can use my particular method of payment?

    Signs are suspended above the toll gates that indicate whether you can use your T-tag, credit card, smart card or fuel card, or whether you can pay cash. During daytime, the three left hand lanes (1, 2 and 3) are reserved for T-tag traffic. Wide or heavy freight traffic and buses take the outer right hand lane (7). Other traffic takes lanes 4, 5 and 6. When it is especially busy in the cash lanes, cash payment will also be possible in Lane 1.


    The daily layout of the toll lanes between 06:00 and 22:00 hours is as follows:
    Lane 1: T-tag (when it is especially busy and after 22:00 hours: cash)
    Lane 2: T-tag
    Lane 3: T-tag
    Lane 4: credit card, smart card, fuel card
    Lane 5: cash
    Lane 6: cash
    Lane 7: credit card, smart card, fuel card, T-tag especially for large transport


    Attention! Motorcycle riders are obliged to drive through the cash lane.

  • Which method of payment is quickest?

    You can pass the toll gates quickest with a t-tag.

  • What is a t-tag?

    A t-tag is a handy and compact device that must be placed on the inside of the front window. This enables you to pass by any toll gate at the Westerschelde Tunnel without stopping. t-tag holders are subscribers and receive a sharp reduction for each transit. For additional information visit: www.movenience.nl.

  • How do I apply for a t-tag?

    You can apply for a t-tag from Movenience B.V., a subsidiary of N.V. Westerscheldetunnel, by telephone or online. Movenience’s client service is accessible on working days between 09:00 and 17:00 at 0900 4488666 (5 euro cents per minute) from the Netherlands and at +31 (0) 113 760001 from abroad. You can register online at www.movenience.nl. You cannot obtain the t-tag at the toll plaza.

  • under construction

  • What is the frequent user discount?

    t-tag holders who travel more than 150 times per calendar year through the Westerschelde Tunnel, receive a frequent user discount. The discount goes into effect after the 150th transit per t-tag per year. The frequent user discount on average is 20% of the t-tag rate and applies to all categories.

     

    For example, Liz drives through the tunnel for the 151st time with her car and the same T-tag. The regular Category 1 T-tag rate is € 3.80. Due to the frequent user discount, Liz from now on only pays € 3.05. The total discount in relation to the regular € 5.00 Category 1 rate is € 1.95.

    John drives 150 times through the tunnel with his truck or car, using the same T-tag. The 151st time he drives through the tunnel with his car and caravan. This means he falls into Category 2 at that point. Due to the frequent user discount, he pays € 4.55 instead of € 5.70. The time after that he once again drives through the tunnel with his truck and the same T-tag. He then receives the frequent user discount on Category 3 and therefore pays € 11.15 instead of € 13.90.

  • Why are the rates for large campers higher than the rates for cars with a caravan?

    The four different toll categories are based on the height and length of the vehicle. The difference between Category 1, 2, 3 and 4 is based on the height of the pulling vehicle. If the height is lower than 3 metres, you are classified into Category 1 or 2. A passenger car with caravan falls into Category 2. There are campers that fall into Category 1 (shorter than 6 metres and also lower than 3 metres). In addition, there are also campers that fall into Category 2 (lower than 3 metres and longer than 6 metres). Finally, there are campers (usually with a sleeping space high up) that fall into Category 3 (higher than 3 metres). The last group of campers therefore pays more than a car with caravan.

  • What is understood as a motorbike?

    A motorbike is considered to be ‘any two-wheeled vehicle, with or without a sidecar, that has a maximum speed of over 45 km/h and a cylinder capacity of over 50 cmᶟ ’. In the definition used by Westerscheldetunnel N.V., this applies to motorbikes with or without sidecars. In contrast or partly in contrast to the definitions in the Road Traffic Act, Westerscheldetunnel N.V. also includes trikes and quads within its definition of a motorbike. You can read the ‘Motorbike traffic regulations' here.

Construction of the Westerschelde Tunnel

  • When was it decided to construct the Westerschelde Tunnel?

    Various businessmen already had plans in the thirties for constructing a tunnel below the Westerschelde. The Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management (Rijkswaterstaat) initiated a study in 1966. A decision was deferred for years, but a bridge-tunnel combination was finally chosen to be constructed at Kruiningen-Perkpolder. Due to financial problems, this structure was never built. The Provincial Council in 1980 adopted a motion that demanded a decision from the government the very same year. Construction was deferred in 1981 and in 1983, the entire plan was scrapped. The business community started up a new initiative in 1986. A new steering committee, including national and provincial representatives, started working with the plans put forward by the business community. That same year, the route of the tunnel as it was eventually built, was conceived. In 1990, the Minister of Transport, Public Works and Water Management made funds available and in 1991 the Provincial Council opted for the current route. In 1993 the contractor combination Kombinatie Middelplaat Westerschelde was selected. And in 1996, N.V. Westerscheldetunnel was created to construct and operate the tunnel. The contractor was subsequently able to really commence work in 1997.

  • Who built the tunnel?

    The contractor combination Kombinatie Middelplaat Westerschelde designed and built the tunnel and its auxiliary structures. The contractor combination consisted of: BAM Infrabouw BV, Heijmans NV and Voormolen Bouw BV (Netherlands), Franki NV (Belgium), Philipp Holzmann AG and Wayss & Freytag AG (Germany).

  • How long did it take to construct the tunnel?

    The design and construction of the Westerschelde Tunnel and the access and exit roads in total took over seven years. The design phase took over a year and the construction took six years. Construction commenced in November 1997. The tunnel opened on 14 March 2003.

  • How was the tunnel constructed?

    The Westerschelde Tunnel was bored through the clay soil using two boring machines especially designed and constructed for this project. It is not the first tunnel bored in Europe, but it is unique due to its extended length, size, depth and construction in slack soil. The construction of the Westerschelde Tunnel was a technically complex project that used pioneering boring techniques in accordance with the hydroshield method. All the equipment required for boring the tunnel shaft and constructing the tunnel walls was contained within the tunnel boring machine and the trailers following behind it. The ‘crawling factory’, with its trailers, was approximately 195 metres long. Manufacturing the tunnel boring machine took fifteen months and assembling it took three months. The machine drilled 12 metres per tube each day. The tunnel boring machine was fully computer-controlled.

  • How did the tunnel boring machine work?

    The tunnel boring machine used for the Westerschelde Tunnel used the hydroshield method. The boring machine excavates a cylindrically-shaped hole through the soil and constructs the tunnel tube within it. At the front, the drill head is in contact with the soil to be excavated. This wall of soil is referred to as the boring face. The cutting wheel turns against this boring face. The cutting wheel, with its six arms, excavates the soil layer by layer. As the machine excavates at increasingly greater depths, the pressure steadily increases. To prevent the soil from flowing into the boring machine, the boring face is held back. This is accomplished by filling the space behind and between the cutting wheel with a water-bentonite mixture. This mixture reinforces the boring face. Bentonite is continuously supplied and a mixture of bentonite and excavated soil is carried away. Behind the cutting wheel, the boring shield, a round metal housing, moves forward along with the drill.

    The boring shield is 11 metres long and has an 11.3 metre diameter. The shield prevents soil and water from flowing into the tunnel. The final tunnel walls are constructed in the back of the shield using prefabricated concrete elements. The concrete tunnel segments are installed against each other, one by one. The tunnel boring machine moves forward using cylinders to propel itself forward. The propelling cylinders immediately press the segments closely together. The space between the tunnel segments and the bore hole is filled with grout - a mixture of cement, sand and water. Once that hardens it forms a solid layer around the tunnel. During boring operations, the road foundation, the cable channel and the communicating passages are immediately constructed behind the tunnel boring machines.

  • How many people were working in the tunnel boring machines?

    A total of 280 persons worked in shifts in the two tunnel boring machines. Concrete builders, mechanics and technical foremen were transported by train to their workplace in the tunnel boring machines.The machines have all kinds of facilities, including toilets and a canteen.

  • Where was the material used in the tunnel stored?

    There were two construction sites for the supply and storage of materials for the Westerschelde Tunnel. There was a concrete factory on the site which manufactured the tunnel rings, a mixing installation for producing the sand-cement mixture for the tunnel’s foundation and a separating installation where the excavated soil was separated from the bentonite support fluid. In addition, there was a conveyor belt across the dike used for unloading materials from ships and reloading other materials onto ships. A railway line, a shed for maintaining the locomotives and a special switching yard were especially constructed for the tunnel. In addition there was a diver’s shed with two decompression tanks. Divers who were required to perform repairs during the boring process could stay here in a pressurised environment. Finally, the temporary offices of N.V. Westerscheldetunnel and the contractor were located on the site.

  • What was the cost of constructing the tunnel?

    The total construction budget was € 750 million. In addition, there are the operating costs (€ 225 million) and the maintenance (€ 300 million). This brings the costs over a period of 30 years to € 1.3 billion. A portion of the investment is recovered through means of tolls.

  • How did one get to the other side of the Westerschelde before the tunnel was built?

    Millions of pedestrians, cyclists, cars and trucks for years made use of the Vlissingen-Breskens and Kruiningen-Perkpolder ferry services. Four double decker ferries plied the routes of the Provincial Steamboat Service (PSD). These ferry services were halted when the tunnel opened. The last PSD ships were sold to Italian ship-owners. They still provide ferry services in Italy. Following the wind-up of the PSD, a smaller boat, the Fast Ferry, was deployed at Vlissingen-Breskens, specifically for the crossover of pedestrians, mopeds and cyclists.

  • When was the tunnel opened?

    Queen Beatrix officially opened the Westerschelde Tunnel on 14 Match 2003 in the presence of over 900 invitees. Two reception areas were created in the tunnel for guests from Zuid-Beveland and guests from Zeeuws-Vlaanderen. The connection between these two areas was established through means of an interactive programme. This was followed by a festive reception at the Scheldetheater in Terneuzen. One week prior to the opening, 12,000 interested persons came for a tour of the tunnel. They made a tour of the western tunnel tube by bus. In the other tunnel tube they were provided with information about the tunnel at various stands accompanied by music and a snack and refreshments.


Sluiskil Tunnel

  • Where is the Sluiskil tunnel located?

    The tunnel is located in the province Zeeland under the channel from Ghent to Terneuzen. It is on the route of the N62.

  • Hoe lang is de Sluiskiltunnel?

    De totale tunnellengte is 1330 meter (ruim 1,3 kilometer).

  • Wordt er tol geheven op deze tunnel?

    Nee, er wordt geen tol geheven.

  • Wat is het diepste punt van de Sluiskiltunnel?

    Het diepste punt van de tunnel ligt midden in het kanaal op 34 meter beneden NAP (36 meter onder de waterspiegel van het kanaal).

  • Wat is het hellingspercentage van de Sluiskiltunnel?

    Maximaal 4,5%.

  • Wie is de eigenaar van de Sluiskiltunnel?

    Provincie Zeeland is de eigenaar van de Sluiskiltunnel. De N.V. Westerscheldetunnel beheert en exploiteert de tunnel in opdracht van de provincie. De N.V. Westerscheldetunnel heeft unieke kennis en ervaring in Nederland op het gebied van tolinning, tunnel- en wegbeheer, onderhoud en verkeers- en incidentmanagement. 

  • Hoeveel mensen rijden dagelijks door de tunnel?

    De verwachting voor 2015 is dat er gemiddeld 21.000 voertuigen per etmaal gebruik zullen maken van de Sluiskiltunnel. 

  • Mogen gevaarlijke stoffen door de Sluiskiltunnel vervoerd worden?

    De Sluiskiltunnel is een categorie-C tunnel. Meer informatie hierover vindt u bij ‘Informatie per voertuig.’

  • Welke radiozenders kan ik ontvangen in de Sluiskiltunnel?

    Er zijn vier radiostations te ontvangen in de Sluiskiltunnel. In geval van een calamiteit kan de tunneloperator op deze zenders inbreken. Het zijn de volgende zenders en frequenties:

    • Radio 1 via 104.4 FM
    • Radio 2 via 97.8 FM
    • Radio 3 FM via 99,8 FM 
    • Omroep Zeeland via 87.9 FM
  • Wordt de tunnel bewaakt?

    Ja, tunneloperators houden de tunnel vanuit de bedieningsruimte 24 uur per dag in de gaten. Daarvoor hebben ze onder andere camera’s, sensoren in het wegdek, zichtmetingen en rookmelders ter beschikking. De tunneloperators kunnen op een reeks van beeldschermen de hele tunnel met al het verkeer volgen. Zij zien dus precies wie waar rijdt, of er bijvoorbeeld rommel op de weg ligt en of er een voertuig stilstaat. De tunneloperator is de eerste contactpersoon bij problemen. Via de intercom van de hulpposten, die je om de 50 meter in de tunnelwand aantreft, heb je directe verbinding met de tunneloperator. De operator regelt het wegslepen van je voertuig bij pech of een ongeval en waarschuwt zo nodig de hulpdiensten (politie, brandweer, ziekenwagen). Indien nodig kan hij ook de rijstrook waar je staat, afsluiten voor het verkeer of het tunnelverkeer helemaal stilleggen. Bij een hele grote calamiteit loodst hij je naar de andere, veilige tunnelbuis via een van de dwarsverbindingen.

  • Welke veiligheidsmiddelen zijn er in de Sluiskiltunnel?

    1. Ventilatoren. Het koolmonoxidegehalte, de temperatuur en het zicht in de tunnel worden automatisch gemeten. Overschrijden de gemeten waarden de maximaal toegestane grens, bijvoorbeeld bij een verkeersopstopping, dan gaan de ventilatoren in de tunnel automatisch aan en verdrijven ze de uitlaatgassen. Bij brand blazen ze rook en gassen in de rijrichting weg.
    2. Constante radio-ontvangst. In de tunnel is er constante radio-ontvangst. Hierdoor kun je bij incidenten via de radio berichten ontvangen van de tunneloperator.  In de Sluiskiltunnel kun je Radio 1, Radio 2, Radio 3,  en Omroep Zeeland ontvangen.
    3. 'Alarm-stap-uit’-borden. Bij incidenten, bijvoorbeeld een tunnelbrand, beslist de tunneloperator of automobilisten snel hun auto moeten verlaten en naar de andere tunnelbuis moeten. Zo ja, dan verschijnt op deze alarmborden het signaal 'Alarm-stap-uit'. Volg deze instructie altijd meteen op.
    4. Vluchtdeuren. In totaal heeft de Sluiskiltunnel 6 dwarsverbindingen, elke 250 meter één. In noodsituaties ontgrendelt de tunneloperator de vluchtdeuren van de dwarsverbindingen, zodat je naar de andere tunnelbuis kunt vluchten. In elke dwarsverbinding is een intercom, waarmee je direct met de operator kunt spreken.
    5. Camera's en omroepsysteem. Verkeersopstoppingen worden tijdig gesignaleerd door het detectiesysteem in het wegdek en camera's. Op basis  daarvan kan de tunneloperator verkeersmaatregelen treffen. Via de matrixborden boven de weg kan hij maximumsnelheden instellen, rijstroken afkruisen en waarschuwen voor personen op de rijbaan. Bij incidenten kan hij via het omroepsysteem de gebruikers waarschuwen.
    6. Hulpposten. In de tunnel is om de 50 meter een hulppost. Open je zo'n hulppost, dan krijgt de tunneloperator in de controlekamer een signaal en treedt de camera bij de hulppost automatisch in werking. Via de intercom in de hulppost kun je direct met de tunneloperator spreken. Verder hangt er een schuimblusser en een brandslang. In de Sluiskiltunnel zijn 52 hulpposten.
  • Hoe zit het met de brandveiligheid van de Sluiskiltunnel?

    Voor afgezonken tunnels bestaat er in Nederland een standaardnorm die voorschrijft dat een tunnel  hittewerende maatregelen heeft waardoor deze   weerstand biedt aan een brand van 2 uur met een maximale temperatuur van 1350°C.
    In de betonnen segmenten van de Sluiskiltunnel zijn speciale hittewerende vezels verwerkt die ervoor zorgen dat de Sluikiltunnel een hittewerende werking heeft waardoor de tunnel zijn sterkte bij brand behoudt.

  • Zijn er bij de Sluiskiltunnel ook vaste omleidingsroutes?

    Er is een vaste omleidingsroute over de brug van Sluiskil in geval van afsluiting van de Sluiskiltunnel. Deze zijn aangeduid in westelijke richting middels U65 (richting Hoek / Westerscheldetunnel) en in oostelijke richting middels U64 (richting Terneuzen / Gent/Terneuzen.

     

    Deze omleidingsroutes worden ingezet als de tunnel of een tunnelbuis  geblokkeerd is, bijvoorbeeld na een ongeval. Het betreffende U-nummer wordt dan gecommuniceerd en automobilisten kunnen de blauwe borden met het nummer volgen om via de ingestelde omleiding alsnog op de bestemming te komen. 

  • Hoe vaak wordt er onderhoud gepleegd aan de tunnel?

    De Sluiskiltunnel wordt vier maal per jaar afgesloten voor regulier onderhoud.

    De Sluiskiltunnel wordt tijdens een onderhoudsnacht volledig (in beide richtingen) afgesloten. Volg de omleidingsroute via de brug bij Sluiskil.

    De data zijn vooraf bekend. Klik hier voor de onderhoudskalender.

  • Kan elk voertuig gebruikmaken van de tunnel?

    Alle voertuigen die 80 km/u kunnen en mogen rijden, kunnen gebruikmaken van de Sluiskiltunnel. Langzaam verkeer, zoals brommers, fietsers, brommobielen en voetgangers, mogen dus niet door de tunnel rijden, maar gaan via de brug van Sluiskil. 

  • Wat zijn de maximale afmetingen voor voertuigen in de Sluiskiltunnel?

    De maximale breedte en hoogte van een voertuig is 4,3 meter. Voertuigen breder dan 3 meter moeten een vergunning aanvragen bij de Rijksdienst voor het Wegverkeer (RDW). Dit kan online of via 0900-0739 (vanuit het buitenland: +31 598 39 33 30).

  • Hoe kan ik op de hoogte blijven van de beschikbaarheid van de Sluiskiltunnel?

    De beschikbaarheidsinformatie van de Sluiskiltunnel wordt via diverse middelen gecommuniceerd: de website www.westerscheldetunnel.nl, de gratis app voor smartphones ‘WSTVerkeer’ (geschikt voor iOS en Android) en via het twitteraccount WSTVerkeer. Via deze middelen ontvangt  de weggebruiker een open- en dichtmelding als één of beide tunnelbuizen afgesloten is. De beschikbaarheidsinformatie is minder uitgebreid dan bij de Westerscheldetunnel.  Meer informatie hierover leest u bij de vraag ‘Waarom is de beschikbaarheidsinformatie over de Sluiskiltunnel anders dan bij de Westerscheldetunnel?

Construction of the Sluiskil Tunnel

  • Waarom is de Sluiskiltunnel aangelegd?

    Voordat de Sluiskiltunnel er was, moest het wegverkeer gebruik maken van de brug van Sluiskil om het Kanaal van Gent naar Terneuzen over te steken. Hier ontstonden lange wachttijden voor het wegverkeer. Bovendien namen de  scheepvaartbewegingen op het kanaal steeds verder toe. De brugopeningen zorgen voor lange wachttijden; de brug stond in het verleden gemiddeld vijf uur per dag open. Dit leidt tot extra kosten voor het wegverkeer en de scheepvaart. Het veroorzaakt economische schade. Ter indicatie: de wachttijd bij de brug zorgde in 2010 voor een economische kostenpost van € 5 miljoen. Daarnaast veroorzaakte het sluipverkeer, waaronder ook veel vrachtverkeer, onveilige situaties, hinder en milieuoverlast in de omliggende kernen.

  • Wanneer is besloten tot aanleg van de Sluiskiltunnel?

    De verkeersdoorstroming bij de brug van Sluiskil zorgde al jaren voor overlast, maar als in 2003 de Westerscheldetunnel wordt geopend nemen deze problemen nog meer toe. De Westerscheldetunnel is immers op drie minuten afstand gelegen van de brug . De verkeersstromen in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen veranderen nadat de veerdiensten voor voertuigen zijn verdwenen. Bovendien neemt de verkeersdrukte sinds de opening van de Westerscheldetunnel toe. De veerdiensten zetten in 2003 dagelijks 8.000 voertuigen over. Al snel na de opening van de Westerscheldetunnel neemt dit toe tot 12.000 voertuigen en tegenwoordig passeren per dag gemiddeld 16.000 voertuigen de tolpoorten.Daarnaast neemt ook het vaarverkeer toe, waardoor de brug steeds vaker geopend moet worden om de scheepvaart doorgang te verlenen.

     

    Al tijdens de bouw van de Westerscheldetunnel voorziet de N.V. Westerscheldetunnel dat er problemen zullen ontstaan rondom de verkeersdoorstroming bij de brug van Sluiskil. In 2001 wordt een kerngroep opgericht die zich buigt over een oplossing voor het oponthoud bij de brug bij Sluiskil. De kerngroep bestaat uit afgevaardigden van de Provincie Zeeland, Rijkswaterstaat en de N.V. Westerscheldetunnel. Hun missie: het realiseren van een vlotte Noord-Zuid verbinding met daarin een alternatieve kanaalkruising bij Sluiskil.

     

    Het proces

    De komst van de Westerscheldetunnel brengt perspectief voor de financiering van de Sluiskiltunnel. Want de opbrengsten uit de tolinning kunnen hiervoor worden aangewend. In de tweede helft van 2001 wordt gestart met de businesscase Kanaalkruising Sluiskil. Die wordt aangeboden in het voorjaar van 2002. Vervolgens geeft de minister van Verkeer en Waterstaat het startsein voor een planstudiefase.

     

    In 2003 brengt de Provincie Zeeland de Startnotitie Kanaalkruising Sluiskil uit. Hierin wordt het probleem beschreven en worden mogelijke oplossingen geboden voor het verkeersknelpunt.  De alternatieven voor de brug bij Sluiskil zijn: een nulalternatief (de situatie blijft zoals deze is) een tweede brug ten zuiden van de kern Sluiskil of, het derde alternatief, een tunnel direct ten zuiden van de brug bij Sluiskil. Daarna is een Trajectnota/MER opgesteld, deze is in mei 2005 gereed.

     

    Provincie wordt eigenaar Westerscheldetunnel

    Na een inspraakprocedure volgt normaal gezien het Ontwerp-Tracébesluit (OTB). Dit bevat een gedetailleerde uitwerking van het door de minister bepaalde voorkeursalternatief. Maar op dat moment, we zijn dan inmiddels in 2009, verkoopt het Rijk de aandelen van de Westerscheldetunnel aan Provincie Zeeland. Dit verandert de procedure. De nieuwe weg valt dan onder het provinciaal wegennet. Procedureel betekent dit ook dat de tracéwetprocedure niet meer van toepassing is.

     

    De Provincie Zeeland zal de nieuwe kanaalkruising aanleggen. Er zijn twee alternatieven voor de brug bij Sluiskil: een tweede brug of een tunnel. In 2009 is inmiddels onderzocht welke gevolgen deze alternatieven hebben voor het milieu, de economie, de veiligheid en de ruimtelijke ordening. De uitkomst daarvan is dat een tunnel het meest milieuvriendelijke alternatief is. De officiële projectnaam wordt dan ook Sluiskiltunnel.  De Provincie Zeeland heeft de bouw van de Sluiskiltunnel en alles wat daarbij komt kijken ondergebracht bij de BV Kanaalkruising Sluiskil (BV KKS).

     

    Er wordt een bestemmingsplanprocedure opgestart in 2009 door de gemeente Terneuzen. Het bestemmingsplan wordt officieel vastgesteld in februari 2010. In het bestemmingsplan staat het nieuwe tracé uitgebreid beschreven, zoals de ligging van de tunnel, wegen en kruispunten. Ook staat er in hoe met het landschap, milieu, geluid en de veiligheid in de tunnel wordt omgegaan. Hoewel de impact op het landschap gering is, worden er uiteraard maatregelen genomen om de natuur te compenseren. In oktober 2010 wordt bekendgemaakt dat bouwcombinatie BAM-TBI (CBT) de tunnel gaat bouwen.

  • Wie heeft de Sluiskiltunnel gebouwd?

    De BV Kanaalkruising Sluiskil (BV KKS) heeft van de Provincie Zeeland opdracht gekregen om de Sluiskiltunnel te realiseren. BV KKS is de opdrachtgever van de aannemerscombinatie BAM-TBI (CBT). CBT is een aannemerscombinatie die bestaat uit: BAM Civiel en TBI, die weer bestaat uit Mobilis, Croon en Wayss & Freytag.

     

    CBT heeft veel ervaring met het bouwen van tunnels. Ze bouwden bijvoorbeeld ook de Westerscheldetunnel  en de Hubertustunnel in Den Haag. De bouwcombinatie is een samenstelling van de twee concerns: Koninklijke BAM Groep N.V. en TBI Holding N.V.. Onder de combinatie werken vier bedrijven samen: BAM Civiel, Wayss & Freytag Ingenieurbau, Croon en Mobilis. BAM Civiel en Mobilis zorgen voor het civieltechnische werk, zoals het betonwerk rondom en in de tunnel, de kunstwerken (viaducten, bruggen en dergelijke) en de wegenbouw. Wayss & Freytag Ingenieurbau verzorgt de boorwerkzaamheden. Croon Elektrotechniek doet het installatiewerk.

  • Hoe lang duurde de bouw van de tunnel?

    In oktober 2010 wordt bekendgemaakt dat bouwcombinatie BAM-TBI (CBT) de tunnel gaat bouwen. Op 5 oktober 2011 wordt het officiële startsein voor de bouw gegeven.

     

    Vervolgens start op 27 januari 2013 vanaf de oostkant van het Kanaal van Gent naar Terneuzen met het boorproces. Elke dag werd zo'n 10 meter tunnel gebouwd. Half mei was de eerste buis af. Eenmaal aan de overkant werd de boor gedemonteerd. De boorkop en het graafwiel werden over de brug van Sluiskil teruggebracht naar de startschacht. De volgwagens werden via de tunnel teruggetrokken. Aan de oostzijde is de boor opnieuw opgebouwd. Op 8 augustus ging tunnelboor ‘Boorbara’ van start met de aanleg van de zuidelijke buis. Op 1 november 2013 rondde zij deze klus af en kon de aannemer volop aan de slag met de afbouw van beide tunnelbuizen. Na een intensieve testperiode kon op 23 mei 2015 de Sluiskiltunnel opengesteld worden voor het verkeer. 

  • Hoe is de tunnel aangelegd?

    De Sluiskiltunnel is een geboorde tunnel, net als de Westerscheldetunnel. De tunnel wordt geboord met één tunnelboormachine (TBM). De machine wordt twee keer gebruikt. De TBM boort twee keer van oost naar west. Door de tunnel te boren in plaats van af te zinken ondervindt de scheepvaart geen hinder van de werkzaamheden.

  • Wat kostte de aanleg van de Sluiskiltunnel?

    De totale kosten van de verbinding bedroeg circa 300 miljoen euro. De Provincie is voor honderd procent eigenaar van de tunnel. De financiering van de Kanaalkruising Sluiskil is gerealiseerd door bijdragen van de Rijksoverheid, Provincie Zeeland, de gemeente Terneuzen, de Vlaamse Overheid en Zeeland Seaports. Tevens worden de dividenden (de winst) uit de tolinning van de N.V. Westerscheldetunnel aangewend voor de bouw van de Sluiskiltunnel.

  • Wanneer is de tunnel geopend?

     De tunnel wordt op zaterdag 23 mei 2015 opengesteld voor het verkeer.

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