SaVe consortium builds the Theemswegtracé to reroute existing Port of Rotterdam railway line

22 March 2018

On 22 March 2018, the contract was signed for building the substructure of Theemsewegtracé railway line in Rotterdam. For this project, the Port of Rotterdam Authority has chosen the SaVe consortium, consisting of construction companies BESIX, Mobilis, Dura Vermeer, Hollandia and Iemants. With the rerouting of the port railway line, which currently passes over a vertical lift bridge at the entrance to the Britanniëhaven, the growing rail freight traffic will no longer be obstructed by shipping, improving also traffic flow between the western port area and the hinterland.

The Engineering & Construct contract is for a four kilometre elevated rail viaduct, including two steel arched bridges (one above the Rozenburg lock and one above the Thomassen Tunnel). Work will start in the course of 2018, with completion scheduled for the end of 2020. The assignment is a part of the overall Theemswegtracé project. The client, the Port of Rotterdam Authority, is responsible for the coordination, the design and the realization of the project in consultation with ProRail. After completion, the project will be managed entirely by ProRail. The entire Theemswegtracé project involves an investment of approximately €300 million.


The Theemswegtracé railway line will solve the bottlenecking of train traffic foreseen with the growth of rail transport and shipping traffic to and from the Brittanniëhaven. The new railway line runs over an elevated viaduct, including two arched bridges and connects back to the existing track where it meets the A15. Displacing the railway line means that the increasing train traffic will no longer be interrupted by shipping traffic, which will improve traffic flow.

The substructure of the Theemseweg line is not without challenges. In addition to the implementation period of approx. 2 years, the consortium will be building over and near public infrastructure and vulnerable environmental elements, such as the petrochemical industry and a complex network of cables and pipelines. The consortium will be working in a limited space in an environment that is in constant motion day and night. Access to the surrounding companies must also be guaranteed at all times. Finally, there is the logistically complex challenge of bringing in two new steel arched bridges.

The added value of SaVe

With their combined expertise, the SaVe partners guarantee that these challenges can be met. As well as logistic experience with large concrete and steel constructions, the consortium can draw on technical know-how and BIM expertise of the various partners. With Hollandia and Iemants working together, the two arched bridges can be produced simultaneously. SaVe's combined knowledge and experience of working in complex environments, of foundation technology and of road construction make for a strong partnership.

Dieter Behaeghel, Project Manager SaVe: "The SaVe consortium stands for Samen Verbinden (= Connecting Together). 'Together' means that the partners work as a single team to ensure a good working relationship with the Port Authority, stakeholders and the environment. What’s more, with this project the Consortium is 'Connecting' the western port area with the hinterland. Our combined expertise guarantees a successful outcome of this project."

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