Fourteen infrastructure projects have been delayed by at least 2.5 years because there are too few experts for the mandatory nitrogen calculations. This is what Minister Mark Harbers (Infrastructure) writes in a letter to the House of Representatives.
Due to the shortages, the ministry has had to choose which projects should be given priority and which should wait, the minister said.
Among other things, the widening of the A58 between Eindhoven and Tilburg and that of the A6 between Almere Oostvaarders and Lelystad are being delayed. It is not yet known when the planning phase for these projects will be completed.
Harbers gives priority to eleven other projects, including the work on the Hoevelaken interchange and the A1/A30 at Barneveld. Projects that improve road safety or remove major congestion bottlenecks are the first to be followed. At the earliest, there will be nitrogen calculations for all eleven projects at the beginning of 2025.
Not only the number of nitrogen experts, but also the maximum space to emit nitrogen can mean a limitation for new projects. According to Harbers, there is enough nitrogen space to realize the eleven projects. He does emphasize that the planning for these projects can also change, because he expects the nitrogen file to remain “an uncertain factor” in the coming years.
In July last year, the cabinet decided that nitrogen must be compensated up to 25 kilometers from the source. There was still a distance of 5 kilometers before that. As a result of this decision, new calculations were necessary, especially for infrastructure projects.