Living Lab E34 Eindhoven

The AM4INFRA project is building a common framework for a European life-cycle based asset management approach for transport infrastructure. To embed and verify elements of the framework approach into real life scenarios and practices and to learn from this reality over time, the Living Labs concept has been chosen.

Living Lab E34 Eindhoven
AM4INFRA – Asset management approach across modes and borders to enhance current practices

Description of activities

The Eindhoven Living Lab took place on the 21st of February in Antwerp (B). The focal point of the Eindhoven Living Lab was cross-border optimization. Cross border optimization of networks involves at least two institutions, one at each side of the border. In order to make such optimization possible these institutions should find a smart way to cooperate. This cooperation should aim to find a good balance in coordinating activities to make the networks function together as one entity whilst avoiding adding complexity to the ongoing operations of the individual entities. Managing networks is challenging and requires a balance between meeting the individual needs of the agency versus the more encompassing regional needs of neighbouring NIAs. To find such a balance, the following four questions were addressed:
1. Which maintenance activities deliver most value when optimized over the national borders?
2. How can you ‘cross-border’ optimize these activities respecting the national institutional settings and systems (e.g. use of metadata and AM building blocks)?
3. What officers should collaborate on this in the future to succeed in cross-border optimization?
4. What are other success factors can be identified by stakeholders?

The aim of the Eindhoven living lab was to demonstrate and verify the applicability and practicality of the guidelines, and to establish if any further improvements are needed.
The activities for the living lab centred around 6 topics and one overarching theme. The overarching theme was a comparison of asset management maturity, the topics covered:
1. Parking lots for trucks,
2. New infrastructure,
3. Cross-modal city-initiatives (Antwerp, Eindhoven),
4. Maintenance and operation,
5. Data and security,
6. Sustainability.

Description of the real life context

The European route E 34 is part of the United Nations International E-road network. It connects Zeebrugge, the major seaport of Bruges, with Bad Oeynhausen, a German spa town located beside the River Weser at the eastern edge of North Rhine-Westphalia. At Bad Oeynhausen the E 34 links to the E 30, a major pan European east-west artery. It also passes, relatively briefly, through the Netherlands, following the southern by-pass of Eindhoven. Within Germany the route follows from south-west to north-east the full length of North Rhine-Westphalia. The section of interest for this living lab is the section linking the Antwerp region through the Netherlands up to Venlo (NL).
Current Issues
The section of the E34 under consideration is a key European route which is heavily used by freight trucks. Congestion is the key issue on this route in all of the three countries. Typically the quality of the road is varying from place to place and does not seem to be aligned well along the international route. Moreover the transit traffic interacts with local and regional traffic and induces regional mobility problems. Access of trucks to Germany is restricted in the weekends, parking availability along the road is not always sufficient. Additionally the use of the route seems to be affected by policy actions in Belgium where toll system for trucks was implemented. With regard to Work Package 1 the cross-border optimization typically plays out here. The service level optimization over the route is not balanced which means that it is not clear if the cumulative spent resources deliver optimized results over the entire route.
Key Stakeholders
The two responsible road agencies for the stretch of cross-border road under consideration are: AWV of Flanders and RWS of the Netherlands. Although a much wider variety of other stakeholders are involved along this route, the primary focus in the living lab is on the dialogue between these two major network operators.

Context of the Living Lab Eindhoven


The results of the Eindhoven living lab have been defined by the participants. These results have been shared through a webinar which was open for a wider audience (in English). In summary the Eindhoven Living lab delivered the following results:
Conclusions for E34 context
1. Need for cross border alignment for:
a. Planning of renovation works
b. Future functionality
c. Truck parking facilities
2. Joint Opportunity (-and issues) map
3. Get cross-border acquainted
4. Shortlist of priorities and required participants for follow up Living Labs

General Conclusions
1. Cross-border issues are not isolated elements (not in time, not in type of work, not in institutional players)
2. Cross-border issues easily propagate deep into national networks (alternative routes/cross modal solutions/parking facilities)
3. Be aware of Institutional asymmetry (mandate, responsibility, work culture etc)
4. Language is important (by meaning and terminology)
5. Cross border dialogue has been stimulated