The Dutch have a long history of planning, stability, slow speed and persistence. The first rectangular reinforced concrete immersed tunnel in the world, the Maas River immersed tunnel, is located in Rotterdam. It was built by the Dutch in 1942. At that time, the participants in the construction completed a lot of exploration of “no man’s land” and created a number of world firsts: The first rectangular concrete immersed tunnel in the world, the first immersed tunnel in Europe and the first immersed tunnel with sand injection foundation in the world.
Because a number of immersed tunnels in the Netherlands have been built for a long time, the Dutch have accumulated rich experience in the operation and maintenance management of immersed tunnels, which makes them take the lead in the world in terms of tunnel operation and maintenance standards. The Dutch tunnel safety standard is considered to be the highest in the world.
It is worth mentioning that TEC (Tunnel Engineering Consultants) provides technical consulting services for the Hong Kong Zhuhai Macao Bridge, and provides important support and help for the risk control, detail handling and quality assurance of the immersed tunnel of the Hong Kong Zhuhai Macao Bridge. Hans de Wit, Managing Director of TEC and expert of immersed tunnels also won the honorary title of “top 10 construction heroes” of Hong Kong Zhuhai Macao Bridge and he was the only overseas expert who won the award.
The Dutch government has also made many plans to support innovation in top-level design. For example, in order to avoid competition at home, one field can only be handed over to one unit, and then national strength can be concentrated, international competition can be targeted, and long-term deepening in this field can be achieved. This approach has been an unprecedented success in the Netherlands. According to Li Ying of TEC, the phenomenon of acquisition and merger / acquisition of Dutch companies is very common, in order to strengthen competitiveness.
In 1988, with the support of the Dutch Ministry of transport, three Dutch design and consulting companies with experience in tunnel and underground engineering formed a permanent joint venture to establish TEC. Although the consulting companies are still competitors in domestic tunnel and underground engineering in the Netherlands, they only use the name of TEC in the world, so as to improve International competitiveness.
For full article (in Chinese) see: Mr Gao article on Dutch innovation