De Uithoflijn. Afbeelding uit bestuurlijke voortgangsrapportage van de Provincie en de Gemeente Utrecht, 2016

Possible delays in construction of the Uithof tram

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It’s planned to open in mid-2018: the Uithoflijn, a tram line between Utrecht central station and the Uithof, as the replacement for bus 12. The planning is facing some problems now, according to the Utrecht municipality executive board. Measures will be taken.

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The tram line’s construction is facing delays in two places: near the central station, and between the Adama van Scheltemabaan and the parking garage P+R De Uithof, which will be the end of the line. The city’s executive board has composed a new plan together with contractor BAM CUU.

To make the original deadlines on the track between the Adama van Scheltemabaan and P+R De Uithof, more staff will be deployed and they’ll work longer days. The sewer beneath the Heidelberglaan-Universiteitsweg-Bolognalaan junction will no longer be replaced entirely, but will instead be renovated from the inside out. The expectation is that these measures will ensure the first test rides will be able to take place in October 2017.

Station area
The situation around the central station is more complicated, and the risk of delays is high. “The scheduled developments in the area around the station don’t mesh with the integral planning of the Uithoflijn,” according to a progress report.

To create enough room for all the construction projects taking place in the station area, the decision was made to delay the construction of the bus stops in the (future) bus and tram station on the city side of the station. That means the temporary bus stops on the Jaarbeurs square will remain in use for a longer period, until December 2018. The planning for the testing has also been curtailed to be able to suit the original planning.

In the meantime, an alternative is being worked on that will change a part of the tram tracks near the bus and tram station. This temporary connection would still allow the Uithof trams to reach the depot.

Another option would be an alternative tram schedule, which would mean the Uithof line could run between the Uithof and the Vaartsche Rijn station, and a prolonged use for bus 12. A letter sent by the city’s executive board to the city council states that this way, ‘Vaartsche Rijn junction’ can be developed further, and the ‘realised intra and the tram material’ can be used to the fullest.

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