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Construction logistics plan

Utrecht

Utrecht is dramatically reconstructing central areas in the city, which will lead to a significant amount of construction work traffic that the city wants to manage through a construction logistics plan.

Implementing sustainable mobility

By 2020, the area around Utrecht central station will be fundamentally reconstructed and infrastructure will be improved. The city and the progress of the construction works will be impacted by the traffic from the project. In response, Utrecht is taking a coordinated approach to avoid peaks in demand and spread traffic throughout the day. The main objectives of the measure are to develop an elaborated and innovative construction logistics plan that will:
• Increase the efficiency of city centre construction works;
• Decrease the disruption of the urban transport system from construction works traffic;
• Increase the efficiency of constructions traffic; and
• Decrease the impact of construction works traffic on the environment.

At the peak of the construction activities, it is estimated that 250 trucks will drive to and from the central railway station area every day. Aware of the complexity of logistical challenges faced by such large-scale construction work, the city of Utrecht wants to prevent traffic congestion due to construction works and negative impacts on the neighbourhood environment in the surroundings of the construction area. In the frame of the measure ‘Construction logistics plan’, a strategy was elaborated with the aims to minimize emissions due to trucks and construction machines in the city and to establish an efficient traffic management for construction vehicles in the city.
The main idea behind this measure was that the construction materials should not be delivered directly to the construction sites in the city centre, but to one central transfer site. From there different materials and deliveries would be combined into complete freights. At the moment when the material is needed, just one truck drives to the construction site at a convenient time. This would prevent building site obstruction caused by half empty vans and trucks with building materials arriving unscheduled.

How did the measure progress?

The first phase of the measure consisted of research and design. Utrecht carried out a market consultation with project developers and construction firms examining the viability of a buffer site and a construction logistics consolidation centre. Ideas for two possible locations were translated into concepts for implementation. The space of an existing distribution centre is being used as a central buffer zone – a solution that is both time- and cost-effective.To achieve this, the measure was implemented in four stages:
- Stage 1: Market consultation (January 2010 – December 2011)  – The viability of three main measures was investigated and translated into first concepts for implementation: a truck buffer location; a consolidation centre; and parking solutions for construction workers.
- Stage 2: Establishment of a Construction Logistics Plan (since January 2012)  – The establishment of a construction logistics plan with a buffer zone and logistic centre taking into account the specific needs of parties involved (construction work companies and developers).
- Stage 3: Development of 4D planning software (November 2010 – September 2012)  –developed by the city of Utrecht and recently put into action for the first time. The 4D-software uses geographic information systems and construction work databases to visualise and analyse general accessibility of the city and construction logistics and traffic circulation in a certain area. The resulting map images are used to present all stakeholders with a clear construction logistics and traffic circulation action plan per area and per time window.
- Stage 4: Implementation of a central buffer zone (May 2012 – September 2012)  – At the start seven different locations in Utrecht were considered for a possible buffer location. Three locations have been examined in more detail taking into account costs and planning. However, instead of a zone near the construction site, at this moment a part of the area of the construction company has been made available as a buffer zone.
- Stage 5: Implementation of a Construction Logistics Centre (May 2012 – End 2018)- Implementation was started in the form of the set-up of a construction logistics centre (CLC) near Utrecht central station. There are agreements with construction companies that they deliver their materials to this CLC and from there they can be brought in a clean and bundled way to the construction site. The CLC is open 24/7 and also has storage capacity. Transport will be more efficient, cheaper and cleaner and the city will remain better accessible. Nevertheless in the MIMOSA period this CLC has not yet been used: its success depends on the participation of different suppliers and the flow of (mainly smaller) construction materials, which is in turn dependent upon the progress of the construction work around Central Station (including new music centre Vredenburg).

 

What were the outcomes of the measure?

After MIMOSA, the implementation of the measure will carry on. Additional researches were conducted in September 2012 in order to identify the potential of CLC activities extension and to improve the operational organization for the companies involved. Based on the results of these researches and on the lessons learnt from the MIMOSA measure, a construction logistics plan has been developed and is planned to be implemented in the coming years. The Municipality of Utrecht aims to implement further pilot projects in the coming years. The overall framework for the construction work logistic will be defined and a clause on logistic conditions and organization will be integrated in the contract between the builders and the construction companies.

This measure aimed to decrease disturbance to the urban transport system caused by construction works traffic, achieve more efficiency in construction works and decrease PM10, NOx and CO2 construction work traffic emissions. Impacts on environment and transport will be taken into account. The measure has not yet however resulted in the usage of a construction logistics centre , as construction works are delayed and the construction logistics centre is only meant for and efficient for smaller parts. Therefore there is no impact to evaluate within the CIVITAS MIMOSA period. Evaluation of this measure has consequently focused on process evaluation.

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