New bus tunnel is being built at Groningen main station. But why is it full of water?

The contours of a bus tunnel emerge in the southeast corner of the station area in Groningen. It is still under water for the time being.

The main station in Groningen is changing from a typical train station into a public transport terminal during the conversion: in addition to the train tracks, buses are also given a different place.

Build from back to front

They are moving from the front of the station to what is currently the rear: the Rivierenbuurt side. There will also soon be an entrance to the pedestrian passage between Rivierenbuurt and the city center.

Train and bus passengers will soon share these and other routes to look out at the various platforms of Arriva, NS and Qbuzz respectively (from ‘front’ to ‘back’).

Since station builder Strukton started at the Rivierenbuurt, the ‘rear’ bus platform will soon be ready first. While the relocation of the bus station will only take place well after the reopening of the train tracks (summer 2025).

‘Pond’ for bus tunnel construction

The relocation of the bus station is only possible when the bus tunnel under the tracks is completed. And station builder Strukton can only finish this once some of the buses have moved to the new location. Previously, there would be no room for the access ramp on the north side.

Yet the builders at the blue pedestrian bridge are already busy working on the first parts of the tunnel. The contours of the construction pit can be seen at the site of the former postal sorting center on the Achterweg.

That ‘pond’ is deliberately full of water until the concrete walls and floors are anchored firmly enough in the ground. The builders then pump out the water and start working on the southern access and the middle part of the tunnel. They will slide it under the tracks in 2025 during a major train-free period.

To create the construction pit, the sewerage was moved and the pedestrian stairs turned a quarter turn. The walk to the pedestrian bridge along the construction fences has been brightened up by recycling artist Fred Niemeijer.

Driver’s accommodation almost ready

In the meantime, the bus driver’s accommodation, built with yellow bricks, and the station’s technical room on the bus platform are also wind and watertight. The station’s first (new) platform covers will also be there.

Just behind the old station building, Strukton poured the floor of the pedestrian passage with 1,200 cubic meters of concrete. This also functions as the roof of the even deeper bicycle shed, which will soon accommodate more than 6,000 bicycles.

Notch Emma viaduct

Major adjustments are also required on the west side of the area to allow buses to arrive and depart. The Emma Viaduct will have a ‘notch’ for buses coming from Julianaplein. They will soon drive down from the viaduct to the bus station, and will no longer have to use Stationsweg. The car access between the arch bridge of the Emma viaduct and the Parkweg will disappear.