A2 Maastricht

At present, a section of this motorway cuts straight through Maastricht, frequently leading to heavy traffic within city limits. The Groene Loper (Green Carpet) project addresses this issue and effectively reconnects the divided city centre.


The plan named ‘De Groene Loper’ (‘Green Carpet’) ensure optimal accessibility for Maastricht, ensures the continuity of the flow of traffic on the A2 highway at junction Geusselt and junction Europaplein and creates opportunities for the development of the surrounding neighbourhoods by better road safety and an improved social environment in Maastricht-East.

Layered tunnel

From December 16 2016 onwards, drivers will be directed underground along a 2.3-km stretch between the Geusselt and Europaplein junctions. The new tunnel will greatly reduce local traffic pressure in Maastricht, as some 80% of the existing flow will be accommodated by the tunnel The construction of four tunnel tubes offers numerous advantages: it increases capacity while simultaneously simplifying the operation and maintenance of the tunnel. The tunnel was built using tried and tested construction methods and meets the most stringent safety requirements.

Construction tunnel

Avenue 2, a consortium by Strukton and Ballast Nedam, attended to the construction of the tunnel and the technical installations. During the construction the consortium successfully used the ‘observational method’. Because of the use of a ‘second tunnel-constructing train’ more space has been created for the use of over fifty different traffic-technical and tunnel-technical installations (VTTI).


The traffic-technical and tunnel-technical installations (VTTI) see to the continuity of the flow of traffic and are meant to prevent incidents from happening, to detect and to act quickly and effectively by unforeseen events like car trouble of an accident. The VTTI are installed according the national tunnel standard 1.2. This standard was designed to create an uniformed approach when it comes to the installations, control, calamities and ICT-control in tunnels. The tunnel in Maastricht is one of the first tunnels in which this national standard is applied.

‘Park Avenue’ at street level

A new road for local and slow traffic will be built on top of the tunnel: the so-called ‘park avenue’. It will take the form of a tree-lined avenue with a wide lane for cyclists and pedestrians. The area will have a wonderful atmosphere thanks to some 2,000 lime trees. The two lanes of the single carriageway will accommodate cars and public transport in both directions. The park avenue’s green and leisurely setting will do much to reconnect the various Maastricht neighbourhoods formerly divided by the A2. The old buildings and new homes that line the thoroughfare have been carefully designed to blend in with Maastricht’s existing architecture. They will each have their own character, but nevertheless form a coherent whole. The Gemeenteflat building on Koningsplein will be preserved and renovated.

Project details


‘The Groene Loper’ is an integral plan for area design. The total plan was designed for city and highway, cyclists, pedestrians and drivers, inhabitants and companies. The core activities of the plan include:

  • The layered tunnel, accommodating some 80% of the existing flow to go underground and creating a pleasant residential area above-ground
  • The green, recreational lane for cyclists and pedestrians through Maastricht, stretching from Vaeshartelt to Céramique
  • 2 pompous and green afforested city entrees: Duke of Brabant (Greusselt) and Prince bishop of Liège (Europaplein)


  • Full junction of the A2 and A79 highways
  • A new road between the highways A2/A79 and the business park Beatrixhaven
  • A socially safe park avenue on top of the tunnel, for local traffic only
  • A real estate plan with allure and flexibility that naturally fits the present quality of the surrounding area
  • Preservation of the Gemeenteflat building on Koningsplein
  • The estate zone will be revitalised and made accessible by a bridge over the A2 for cyclists
  • Application of tested construction methods
  • Adequate accessibility during the construction: unwedded replacement of the A2
  • The creation of WIFI and cell service in the tunnel


Extra unique is the cooperation between all parties. From the start for project onwards, all project team members, both members from the client as the constructor, have had the same goals: the production of the tunnel within the set time period and the consideration of the surrounding areas. The surrounding areas have played an important part previous to and during the construction. The surrounding areas have also contributed to some of the decisions made during the construction period.

The consortium Avenue2 is a cooperation between Strukton and Ballast Nedam. Avenue2 was supported by, among others, ARCADIS Nederland, West8 Urban Design & Landscape Architecture, dGmR and Bex*communicatie.

Location project