Heijmans’ Maintenance Manager Erwin van Baal, and Work Planners Samuel van Beek and Martijn van Lieshout have been involved in the A12 Veenendaal – Ede – Grijsoord motorway for a long time. This is particularly noteworthy since the maintenance period has only just started. Martijn: “We were involved as a maintenance team at an early stage, which means that we now are very well aware of what we are responsible for maintaining. We are familiar with the area and we know where the risks lie. Our motto from the very beginning is ‘build together for better maintenance’. We now have to hold on to and continue to develop this thought.”
Erwin: “The big difference is that we deliver to our own organization and not to the Directorate-General of Public Works and Water Management (Rijkswaterstaat). We commissioned the road as we conceived it. We were granted an availability certificate for this purpose. In 16 years, after the maintenance period, we will deliver the road to Rijkswaterstaat.”
Samuel: “During the tendering phase, we chose a strategy in terms of the material’s design and quality. All of this affects maintenance. Inexpensive at the front-end is expensive at the back-end. Here, we reverse this equation. We are constructing a high-quality, durable road that we can maintain in perfect condition without incurring excessive costs.
From experience, we know when we need to replace or renovate certain elements. That is nothing new. In recent years, we acquired a great deal of experience with different maintenance contracts. You can subdivide a long-term contract into regular maintenance (standard maintenance activities to maintain the area up to par) and major maintenance. During the upcoming 16 years, there will be a number of instances during which we will be performing major maintenance. Replacing the asphalt is an example. Regular maintenance includes activities such as mowing the shoulders, cleaning culverts and gutters, sweeping the hard shoulders, cleaning the porous asphalt concrete and replacing lamps. These maintenance activities are cyclical in nature. We will be regularly repeating them over the coming 16 years.
We also inspect the road twice a week. Heijmans’ service workers are our eyes and ears on this road. They have to pay attention to everything. And yes, this entails far more that just polishing signs and picking up garbage. In addition to being aware of conditions outside, these workers must also know the contract inside out and be aware of the applicable fines. If they miss the fact that a hole is forming inside the asphalt and we unexpectedly have to go out to fix it, that will cost us € 20,000 every 15 minutes per lane. This is deducted from Rijkswaterstaat’s availability payment. This is something we want to avoid whenever possible.”
A new type of bitumen has been used for the asphalt, which is supposed to last longer as a result. Martijn: “It is a lot more expensive, but it also means that it will last a few more years before we have to replace it.” Erwin: “To put it even more succinctly, during the next 16 years, we will only be replacing the surface layer of the most heavily used R3 lane between Grijsoord and Ede. This is unprecedented.”