Fourteen infrastructure projects have been delayed for at least 2.5 years because there are too few experts for the mandatory nitrogen calculations. So writes Minister Mark Harbers (Infrastructure) in a letter to the House of Representatives.
Due to the shortages, the ministry had to choose which projects should be prioritized 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 delayed. It is not yet known when the planning phase of these projects will be completed.
Harbers is prioritizing eleven other projects, including work on the Hoevelaken interchange and the A1/A30 at Barneveld. Projects that improve road safety or remove major bottlenecks are the first to be tracked. At the earliest, there will be nitrogen calculations for the eleven projects at the start 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 complete all eleven projects. He points out that the planning for these projects may also change, as he expects the nitrogen dossier to remain “a factor of uncertainty” in the years to come.
In July last year, the cabinet decided that nitrogen should be offset up to 25 kilometers from the source. There was still a distance of 5 kilometers before that. Following this decision, new calculations were necessary, in particular for infrastructure projects.