Roadworks on A12 highway: traffic starts piling up

The Galecopper Bridge over the Amsterdam Rijnkanaal on the A12 in Utrecht
The Galecopper Bridge over the Amsterdam Rijnkanaal on the A12 in UtrechtPhoto: Rijkswaterstaat/Wikimedia Commons

Road works on the Galecopper Bridge will cause traffic problems on the A12 around Utrecht for the coming month, Rijkswaterstaat expects. The work on the bridge started on Thursday night and means that fewer lanes are open on the A12 towards Arnhem. Traffic jams started piling up early on Friday morning, according to travelers' association ANWB.

Just before 7:00 a.m. the ANWB reported the first traffic jams related to these road works. Traffic was piling up on the A12 from Harmelen and on the A2 from Nieuwegein.

Public works department Rijkswaterstaat will try to redirect traffic as much as possible, but warns that commuters should take extra travel time of at least 30 minutes into account. Road users are advised to use online navigation tools like Google Maps to pick the best route. "We work together with, for example, Google. The current situation is included in their navigation. You see how busy it is when you drive and the route is adjusted accordingly", a Rijkswaterstaat spokesperson said to RTV Utrecht.

The joints of the Galecopper Bridge - the steel connections between the bridge and the road surface - need to be replaced, according to NOS. When the bridge was renovated three years ago, these joints were put under extra pressure which weakened them. Road workers will work on the bridge 24 hours a day, seven days a week to get the work done as quickly as possible. Rijkswaterstaat is also trying to limit the noise as much as possible by switching tools for quieter alternatives.

The reason that the work was not done during the quiet summer months, was that there was already major road works on the A2 highway between Utrecht and Amsterdam during the summer, Rijkswaterstaat said to NOS. Adding work to the Galecopper Bridge on top of that would have been too radical for traffic. It also cannot wait until after the winter. 

Rijkswaterstaat hopes to have the work on the bridge done by November 8th at the latest.