A2 Maastricht

The A2 motorway near Maastricht is a major route for traffic moving to and from Belgium, Germany and France. At present, a section of this motorway cuts straight through Maastricht, frequently leading to heavy traffic within city limits. The Groene Loper (Green Carpet) project addresses this issue and effectively reconnects the divided city centre.

Projectorganisation A2 Maastricht
In progress
Bouwkuip en verkeer A2_Pro
Tunneltrace uitgegraven
Tunnel 's morgensvroeg
Graafwerk Geusselt_okt 2012_Pro
Eerste dwarsdoorsnede tunnel_februari 2013_Peter Wijnands


Before entering Maastricht the traffic is directed into a double-decker tunnel with two pairs of tunnel tubes. Local traffic is led along the two upper tubes, while through traffic passes through the lower two. Above-ground, the site of the former motorway has been converted into a ‘green carpet’ that accommodates local traffic, cyclists, pedestrians and various residential and commercial buildings.

The plan ensures optimum accessibility for Maastricht and improves circulation on the A2 at the Geusselt junction and Europaplein. Moreover, it creates new opportunities for the further development of the districts lining the traverse thanks to, among other things, improved road safety and a more attractive social environment in East Maastricht.

Double-decker tunnel

In the near future drivers will be directed underground along a 2.3-km stretch between the Geusselt and Europaplein junctions. The new tunnel will greatly reduce local traffic pressure in Maastricht, as some 80% of the existing flow will be accommodated by the tunnel. The construction of four tunnel tubes offers numerous advantages: it increases capacity while simultaneously simplifying the operation and maintenance of the tunnel. The tunnel will be built using tried and tested construction methods and will satisfy the most stringent safety requirements.

‘Park avenue’ at street level

A new road for local and slow traffic will be built on top of the tunnel: the so-called ‘park avenue’. It will take the form of a tree-lined avenue with a wide lane for cyclists and pedestrians. The area will have a wonderful atmosphere thanks to some 2,000 lime trees. The two lanes of the single carriageway will accommodate cars and public transport in both directions. The park avenue’s green and leisurely setting will do much to reconnect the various Maastricht neighbourhoods formerly divided by the A2. The old buildings and new homes that line the thoroughfare have been carefully designed to blend in with Maastricht’s existing architecture. They will each have their own character, but nevertheless form a coherent whole. The Gemeenteflat building on Koningsplein will be preserved and renovated.

Project details

The Groene Loper plan involves an integrated area design. It offers a comprehensive solution for the city and the motorway, cyclists, pedestrians and drivers, residents and local businesses. The key features of the new plan are:

  • The double-decker tunnel, which guides 80% of the current traffic below ground and creates a new, relaxed residential climate at street level
  • The green, recreational lane for cyclists and pedestrians, winding through Maastricht city centre from Vaeshartelt to Céramique
  • Two striking and leafy gateways to the city: Hertog van Brabant (Geusselt) and Prinsbisschop van Luik (Europaplein)

But the plan also offers:

  • Optimum connection between the A2 and A79 motorways
  • A new link road between the A2/A79 and the Beatrixhaven industrial estate
  • A quiet, safe and social ‘park avenue’ that has been reserved for local traffic
  • A stylish and flexible development plan that meshes perfectly with the existing built-up environment in terms of quality and atmosphere
  • Retention of the Gemeenteflat building on Koningsplein
  • The Estates Zone will be revitalised and made accessible by means of a striking flyover for cyclists over the A2
  • Application of tried and tested construction methods
  • Good accessibility throughout the building period: the A2 will only be diverted once
  • The tunnel construction train will move northwards like a caterpillar along the site of the future tunnel
  • A sustainable, future-proof solution for the current air and noise pollution issues, thanks to – among other things – the considerable length and staggered entrances of the tunnel
  • A boost to the employability of the local workforce, thanks to the A2 School: a tailored training programme geared towards people who currently enjoy limited access to the job market. The programme offers them an opportunity to help construct the A2 tunnel, so that they can gain valuable work experience and acquire new professional skills.


The Avenue2 consortium is a partnership between Strukton and Ballast Nedam.

Avenue2 is supported by, among other parties, ARCADIS Netherlands, West8 Urban Design & Landscape Architecture, dGmR and Bex*communicatie.