Update: Schiphol Tunnel won't open for Tues. evening rush hour
Update, 3:50 p.m., 28 March 2017: This story was updated and modified after Rijkswaterstaat announced that two lanes would not reopen as the agency previously expected.
The portion of the southbound A4 expressway that travels through the Schiphol Tunnel will remain closed at least through the evening rush hour period, and possibly into Wednesday, Dutch public works department Rijkswaterstaat announced Tuesday afternoon. The decision was made when engineers were unable to restart exhaust fans in the tunnel during safety testing.
Traffic is expected to pile up not only on the A4, but also on the A2, A5, A9, A10 and A12 as a result. Local roads could also see a surge in motor vehicle use on Tuesday as drivers try to avoid the closure.
The department had previously said two lanes would open in time for the busy Tuesday evening travel period. The tunnel was closed for repairs after a fire broke out inside a tunnel emergency walkway on Monday afternoon.
The fire added significant traffic delays to the entire Randstad area on Monday afternoon. And while a difficult rush hour was expected on Tuesday morning, it was not as bad as thought. Many travelers followed the advice to avoid the area and travel by train if possible.
Tunnel repairs wound up being more complicated than expected. "All wires need to be replaced; that is about a hundred. Only once all systems are working will the tunnel open", a spokesperson for Rijkswaterstaat said to AD.