The Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management (Rijkswaterstaat) in the Netherlands and the BAAK Blankenburg-Verbinding consortium have signed a contract for the construction of a €1bn road and tunnel project in Rotterdam.

The consortium consists of Ballast Nedam, DEME and Macquarie Capital, and the A24 Blankenburgverbinding project is expected to involve works to improve the roads and accessibility in the Port of Rotterdam.

"This completely new road towards the port of Rotterdam will ensure a better traffic flow in this economically important region."

In addition to the design and construction of Blankenburgverbinding, the contract also includes a 20-year management and maintenance period.

Macquarie Capital is a 70% equity partner in the project, while Ballast Nedam Concessies and DEME Concessions Infrastructure hold the remaining interest equally.

The Netherlands Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management van Nieuwenhuizen said: “This is a major step towards the start of the construction of the Blankenburgverbinding.

“This completely new road towards the Port of Rotterdam will ensure a better traffic flow in this economically important region.”

A consortium comprising Ballast Nedam Infra, and the DEME companies DIMCO and Dredging International will be responsible for the actual construction, while Macquarie Capital will serve as the sole financial advisor to the BAAK consortium.

The project will see the addition of a new 4km A24 motorway, which will include the Blankenburg Tunnel, in order to connect the A20 and the A15 motorways to improve accessibility in the region.

It will also comprise the building of an immersed tunnel under ‘Het Scheur’, a land tunnel and two junctions from the A24 to the A20 and A15, as well as the broadening of the A20 between the A24 and the Kethelplein.

The construction works are expected to commence in August next year and set for completion between 2022 and 2024.