Zuid-Holland's N211 to become the first CO2-negative road

The Province of Zuid-Holland is a forerunner with pilot projects to make the management and maintenance of its roads CO2-neutral. In cooperation with construction company BAM, the N211 road between The Hague and the Westland will even become CO2-negative. That means that during the Major Maintenance Programme, more CO2 will be collected than released. Innovative companies and entrepreneurs along the road each contribute to the 21 sustainable measures that make the road sustainable. The Municipality of Westland, the TU Delft and the schools in the neighbourhood are also closely involved in the renewed road.

Sustainable make-over

The fully renovated N211 will be ground-breaking in all aspects. Energy will be sourced from the road surface, which will be stored locally in a heat-cold storage system. Nearby companies are connected to the system as well, so that heat can be exchanged. Objects along the road, such as lamp posts and bus shelters, will generate their own energy. The materials used are as renewable as possible or will be reused from the old road. Existing concrete dam walls will be broken down and reused in the foundation of the new road. In a very promising test, the removed tar asphalt will be cleaned by moulds.

Zuid-Holland's ambition

According to Regional Minister Floor Vermeulen, the actual plan for the N211 is the result of clear choices and a careful process: “We want to deliver an example project in the field of energy transition during road construction and maintenance. That requires a different approach. In the tender, we motivated the contractors to construct the road with the sustainable technology of the future, and to leave room for field tests of even more advanced sustainable solutions.” The knowledge that the Province gains on the process and the measures taken will be used on other roads and shared with other authorities.

Plan focused on cooperation

The plan with which BAM won the tender, contains a large diversity of CO2-reducing measures. “We didn't put all our eggs in one basket. That's why we were able to include 21 different measures in our plan. This way, we actively involve the neighbourhood and offer companies an opportunity with our sustainable innovations. And the results are there: initially, the plan was to compensate the 4,000 tons CO2 that would be freed during the work. Now, all measures together will save around 13,000 tons CO2. On balance, the road will absorb CO2 from the air,” says Ronald van Hulst, Director of BAM Infra Regional.

Lasting savings

Thee CO2-reduction is not a one-off. The solar panels and the heat from the road will supply energy for years after the road is reopened. Citizens and companies will profit immediately by the application of ‘The Energy Road’ concept. BAM expects that road users will need about 2.5% less fuel because the road is constructed very level and with the right kind of texture. That eases the financial burden and reduces the daily CO2-emissions of the road.

Planning work activities

The initial work will start in the first quarter of 2018. In the Autumn of 2018, the road users between The Hague and Poeldijk will drive on the completely reconstructed N211.

Subsidy arrangement

Road authority in Zuid-Holland and active in innovative infrastructural projects? Please visit subsidy arrangement Energy transition in mobility for possibilities in funding.