Major maintenance will take place on the road network in the municipality of Waalre over the next 15 years. Some 220 thousand square metres are 50 years or older and urgently in need of replacement.
Waalre’s municipal council recently approved the replacement work for 2023 and allocated an additional €150,000 on top of the €575,000 already made available for this purpose. According to alderperson Peet van der Loo (Mobility and public space), the projects within Duurzaam door Waalre are also taken into account. These involve work on Eindhovenseweg, Den Hof and Traverse.
“In all projects, a sustainable and healthy living environment for our residents is the goal. We are in the middle of the Brainport region. A good traffic flow, coordinated with our neighbouring municipalities, is therefore hugely important. In the Mobility Plan, we sign agreements on traffic and transport.”
In addition, the municipality is responsible for maintaining the road network. An average lifespan of a road is forty to sixty years. “We take a project-based approach to this because of its scale and combine jobs,” says traffic engineer Jan Thomassen. “So when streets are redesigned, we immediately make them climate-proof – by modernising the sewage system – and we include the greenery when designing the public space.”
After a road inspection last year found that a good number of the roads in Waalre were in bad shape, the municipal council decided to make an additional investment. This also covers the so-called ‘minor maintenance for 2023’. “Waalre is a very green municipality,” Thomassen says. “That means it is nice to live here, but at the same time it also causes nuisance. In the past, trees were placed just anywhere, but their roots cause a lot of damage to the road surface.”
Niels Kessels, as civil engineering manager, is directly involved in managing the roads and talks about the work. “At the moment, we are working on the Eindhovenseweg, the Michiel de Ruyterstraat in Aalst and the Mgr Bannenberglaan in Waalre village, among others. And the Traverse-north is scheduled for 2024.”
Hereby, the effects of the changed traffic situation will be closely monitored. Think about measuring the average speed in residential streets and traffic routes,” Kessels says. “We take an integrated approach to all the work to be carried out on our roads and public spaces – think greenery and road networks.” Thomassen complements him: “So we can make use of several ‘pots’ to pay for it all.
‘Certainly not a luxury’
Alderperson Van der Loo emphasises that the work being carried out now and in the years ahead is definitely not being done ‘out of luxury’. “It is really necessary. You are talking about cracks or holes in the road surface, root pressure and the like. So situations that can pose a danger to road users. After a while, however, even patchworks are no longer sufficient and we have to decide to do major maintenance.” Not only an expensive operation, but it also causes inconvenience for a longer period of time.
Thomassen cites the Heikantstraat – between Waalre and Valkenswaard – as an example. “This road has been bad for years and is being fixed up a bit each time. But actually it is completely worn out. In the past, hardly any attention was paid to it, because back then it was little more than an agricultural road. Meanwhile, it is a road that receives a lot of traffic every day and urgently needs reconstruction. That is scheduled for 2025 and is going to cause a lot of inconvenience.”
For both the mobility plan and the management of public space, the residents of Waalre are explicitly involved. Residents can become involved through FIXI, a recently purchased reporting programme, which will allow individuals reporting about anything amiss in the public space. Kessels: “This also applies to roads. Resident can follow teir reports from start to finish. Convenient for them, but also for the relevant official and the contractor.”