Ekkersrijt A50 | Son

In January, the Netherlands experienced a prolonged period of rain followed by freezing temperatures at night. This led to the closure of the busy Ekkersrijt exit near Son, heading towards the IKEA in Eindhoven, for several weeks. The exit was covered by a thick layer of ice in places, making the road surface extremely slippery. Motorists had to take detours and wait for a thaw before they could use the road again.

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Excess rainwater and saturated verge
The ice formation on the road surface was the result of an excess of rainwater and a saturated verge. In addition, to the left of the direction of travel, there was a completely saturated embankment at a higher elevation, preventing water from draining properly and flowing over the road surface. This, combined with the high groundwater level due to prolonged rain, caused water to flow over the exit to the lower-lying verge. During the rainy period, we experienced a few days of frost, and the water on the road surface froze. This created a life-threatening situation on the road, with a high risk for motorists to end up in the guardrail. The ice formation occurred in the middle of a bend.

Sandwich construction
To prevent this dangerous situation in the future, a solution was conceived and implemented within a few days in collaboration with TreeBuilders/GreenMax and Heijmans. At three locations, a drainage pipe was drilled under the road and connected to the TreeRaft SandwichPanel (30 cm). The TreeRaft SandwichPanel was chosen as a solution because of its high load-bearing capacity, the strength of the material, good water infiltration permeability, and easy installation. The sandwich construction was laid in a strip 75 m long and 60 cm wide. This captures the water coming from the embankment and directs it via the drainage pipe to the other side of the road into the lower-lying verge.

Water is able to drain again
Today, motorists can safely use the Ekkersrijt exit again. The sandwich construction will prevent water from flowing over the road in the future. The work was completed to everyone’s satisfaction and was realized at a rapid pace. The sandwich construction was prepared at the logistical location of TreeBuilders, allowing the panels to be quickly laid in sections of 5 m. Additionally, the collaboration with Heijmans went excellently, and there was swift action to reopen the road.

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