Schiphol Tunnel fire causes major traffic jams around Amsterdam; Tunnel to close through Tuesday rush

traffic jam Simon Forsyth, Flickr. ()

Commuters trying to navigate the Amsterdam area were advised to allow for plenty of extra time if using the highways on Monday evening after a fire in a Schiphol Tunnel passageway led to the closure of both the tunnel and the southbound A4 motorway towards Den Haag. Drivers were told to divert to the congested A2 to Utrecht, and then take the A12 road west as an alternative, adding 30 to 40 kilometers to the drive home.

There were no reported injuries in the fire, but the fire did damage safety systems in the tunnel. 

Little relief is in sight for inconvenienced travellers with the Schiphol Tunnel expected to remain closed past the Tuesday morning rush hour, Dutch infrastructure office Rijkswaterstaat announced Monday evening. Several Dutch media outlets stated the difficulties could continue even longer.

Those trying to get to Schiphol Airport were advised to take the A5, exiting at Hoofddorp. This reportedly led to a higher volume of cars on local roads, with the highway jams also expected to have a knock-on effect around the entire Randstad.

The trouble spots only contributed to the normal Netherlands traffic, with rush hour cars stuck in over 260 kilometers of traffic jams at 6 p.m. on Monday. Planned roadworks on the A1 and N201 were already expected to add 60 minutes of travel time to drivers on the east side of the Amsterdam metropolitan region.