The Jacobs/APPM/Posad consortium launched their solution for an alternative public transport connection, bridging the two communities of Amsterdam and Almere. The Consortium proposes a rapid regional metro line – the Nieuwe Lijn – between Amsterdam Isolatorweg / Sloterdijk and Almere Oost, fully integrated into the existing metro Ringlijn. The capital cost of the construction of the Nieuwe Lijn, are 2,6 billion according to Dutch standards. We estimate the capital cost at under €2 billion, is less than half that estimated in the original reference case. The line is also expected to generate considerable extra demand and takes the pressure and future investment of the existing Hollandse Brug. The deficit in the business case has been reduced by 86% from € 3,8 billion to € 0,5 billion euro.
Combine Public Transport and Urban Development
The Nieuwe Lijn provides more than just an additional piece of infrastructure. The scheme merges urban development in Amsterdam and Almere with new and existing public transport systems and operations (Transit Oriented Development).
The Design and Spatial Concept
The new infrastructure had a number of challenges to address including the crossing of the Amsterdam-Rijn kanaal, the contaminated land at Diemerzeedijk and, of course the crossing of the IJmeer itself. The design proposed by the Consortium is both attractive and functional with each element reinforcing the distinct identity of the new line. The IJmeer will be traversed by four cable stayed bridges that will link three new artificial islands, which is expected to reduce the overall cost of construction also, add to the ecological development of the region. The integration of spatial and environmental development with design is a key feature of the proposal. These new islands will provide ecological and amenity value to the IJmeer through the creation of new habitats. The addition of a new peninsula and a new marina on the western edge of the existing Pampus will create Almere Pampus Bay which will support the development of water based recreation. The design also recognises that in residential areas special care needs to be taken with the design to ensure the integration of the line into the existing urban fabric, for example at IJburg the track will be built on an embankment and a linear park will be developed above the tracks.
New residential and employment areas
The business case is further enhanced through amending and integrating existing and developing new proposals for urban development in Almere and Diemen. The consortium proposes to develop a new interchange for the Gooi-line and De Nieuwe Lijn. This will enable the development of new, high quality residential and employment areas around New Diemen and the existing settlement of Diemen. This intervention should also help to improve the currently fragmented urban structure of Diemen. As a result of the implementation of the consortium’s plans it is anticipated that land development values will be enhanced through reducing the allocated IJland residential area which is adjacent to Almere Pampus whilst simultaneously creating high quality urban and green space networks. The appealing spatial design is realistic and also marketable. Two new stations will be realised in Pampus and in Almere, residential and other development will complete the improvements of Almere Mondriaan station and at the terminus at Almere A27 station to the east of Almere
The Way Forward
The Nieuwe Lijn offers a flexible solution creating significant additional capacity in a cost effective way. It is expected to stimulate sustainable urban development and reduce the pressure on urban sprawl within the metropolitan region. The Nieuwe Lijn could also serve as a blueprint for the development of the public transport network within the metropolitan region. This provides an attractive way forward for the future development of the region.
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