Maastunnel

The oldest traffic tunnel in the Netherlands can be found in Rotterdam. It connects the two banks of the River ‘Nieuwe Maas’ (New Meuse). The first talks of creating a tunnel date back as far as 1899. Since Rotterdam has always been an important port (from 1962 to 2004 it was even the busiest port in the world) a bridge on this location would have had to be constructed too tall to allow sea ships passage. After long debates the decision to construct the tunnel was finally taken in 1933.

The tunnel was built from 1937 to 1942. It consists of a set of pre-fabricated tubes that were sunken into a trench that was dug in the river floor. This technique had never been used in Europe before. Two adjacent tubes are for motorised traffic (2×2 lanes). Right next to those there are two stacked tubes. One for pedestrians, on top of which there is one for cyclists. Motorised traffic reaches the tubes via long access roads. Pedestrians and cyclists enter their tunnel from an entirely different location by escalators. Therefore, as a cyclist you could be unaware there even is a tunnel for motorised traffic



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