Campus Maastricht – Maastricht (NL)

calatrava maastricht foundationConstruction of the prestigious campus was abandoned after the costs kept increasing. The original budget of 40 million € was soon abandoned. When estimated costs reached 235 million € the housing company pulled the plug on the project because of urgent cash issues, leaving the already invested 66 million € of public money to rot away in the southern Dutch soil. All people involved in the decision making who had hoped for a photo of them standing next to world famous Santiago Calatrava before their prestigious campus, lost their jobs.

In case there was any doubt: Calatrava remained untouched, receiving all his money as if the campus had been completed. He stated he could not be blamed for the rise in costs that caused the fiasco. Of course not.

The Maastricht Campus affair has all the traits of a classic Calatrava disaster: costs that multiply the original budget, an enormous waste of public funds, decision makers that instead of obtaining glory lose their jobs and Santiago Calatrava as the only winner, cashing a large check of public money for another impossible project.

To understand what happened in Maastricht we need to go back to 1995. That year the Dutch government decided that social housing corporations would no longer receive any government funding. Instead housing corporations should be run more businesslike, developing more profitable projects with which costly social housing could be financed.

Servatius looks for projects to make a profit

One of the many housing corporations affected was Servatius in Maastricht. Where it had always focused on building affordable homes to meet the needs of society it all of a sudden needed to develop property to make a profit, something it had no experience with.

In 1999 the university of Maastricht expressed interest in developing a new, high profile campus to attract foreign students. Servatius´ president Leks Verzijlbergh was instantly inspired foreseeing a future of glamour and glory. He decided the campus needed a famous architect and hired Santiago Calatrava, who had developed he TGV railway station in neighboring city Liège that had taken 10 years to build and had cost 312 million €, double of the available budget. Verzijlbergh instantly knew this was the exact guy he needed so in 2000 he asked Calatrava to design a campus that would cost around 40 million €.

verzijlbergh at campus ruins

Former president Leks Verzijlbergh proudly posing next to his Calatrava building as it reached its highest point

The Plan

In 2004 it was officially announced Santiago Calatrava would be designing the new campus that would be built in the Randwyck neighborhood and would consist of a 300 meter long building housing student flats, apartments for university personnel, shops, offices, a sports complex and parking space. The costs of the project had in the meantime risen to 104 million €. The Campus Maastricht was to be completed by 2008.


Billboards announce the new Campus Maastricht

Campus Randwyck Calatrava 04

Campus Maastricht was visualized in a fancy 3D presentation that starts out with the words Vision today, Future tomorrow. Little did they know how different that future would really be.

The project is stopped for a first time

With the total costs of the project rising, Calatrava´s campus attracted national attention. In 2006 minister Dekker ordered the project to stop as she did not believe building the sports hall and office space was part of the housing corporation´s core business.

Campus Randwyck Calatrava 03

The magnificent sports hall that minister Dekker wanted cancelled

Maybe the minister had forgotten that since 1995 it had been the government itself that was forcing housing corporations out of their core business by making them responsible for earning their own funds. One year later new minister Ella Vogelaar decided building the sports complex and the office space was no problem. After the financing structure has been changed she allowed Servatius to continue its plans even though the total costs were already budgeted at 130 million €.

The project is stopped again

With all political barriers out of the way building was finally started in 2008, the year that the campus should have been finished according to the first plans. 300 trees were cut and a sports complex demolished to allow for the foundations of the spectacular new campus to be laid. But again things did not go as planned. In the spring of 2009 Servatius president Leks Verzijlbergh was stripped of his powers because he had taken too many financial risks in the development of the campus plans. In the summer of that year building activities were halted and shortly after Tjeu Blommaert, professor of economics at Maastricht´s university, left the social housing company´s board of control after leading it for only nine weeks. Something was definitely wrong.

Campus Randwyck Calatrava 02

The cosy student living units on poles above the water had looked so good…

Blommaert publicly announced an explosive situation: Building the campus would costs 200 million € but no contract has been signed, leaving housing corporation Servatius liable for a large part of the 200 million €. Blommaert: “So far no contract has been signed with a client. It´s more adventuring than entrepreneuring.” According to Blommaert, senior members of the board of control were unwilling to accept time was running out before the Calatrava campus project would ruin the social housing corporation. The board members had enjoyed being part of such an ambitious project but were not willing to admit that in the meantime they had not been paying attention.


Every prestige product needs a phallus: The 60 meter high living units for university employees had seemed such a good idea…

Even after Blommaert´s declaration board members at first refused to accept their mistakes. They finally stepped down because, in the words of one of them, board member Harry Fekkers: “The sudden change in the economic climate has made it clear that too many risks have been taken. This has happened under our supervision so we are accepting our responsibility.” “Accepting our responsibility” meant leaving the board, it did not mean board members were prepared to face any personal financial measures to make up for the huge losses they had caused.

Choosing Calatrava was a mistake

duco stadig

The minister of housing sent an external supervisor

The costs of building the campus kept going up and were asteemed at 235 million € by November 2009 when Duco Stadig, who had been brought in as external supervisor to assess the project, concluded that choosing Calatrava as the architect had been an error. “If you are rich and have all this money in your wallet, it is something you can do. Very near in the City of Liège he has built a beautiful railway station but it has cost double of what was planned…” “This guy (Calatrava) makes very beautiful buildings, let´s be clear on that, but he has to be paid from the budget for a sports hall and some student rooms … and that does not match in size of project. If you want to build rooms for students and a sporting facility, then that is what you need to and you will just make it (money wise). Housing corporations don´t usually have much money. They have been over-ambitious.”

With the project dead the hunt for a culprit started. Basically two things had lead to the Maastricht campus disaster: the ever-rising costs (from 40 million € to more than 200 million €) and the disastrous organization structure of social housing company Servatius that allowed the project to snow-ball out of control. When Spainish newspaper La Vanguardia reported the city of Maastricht had stopped building the Calatrava campus because of its high costs, Calatrava studios´ Mike Pfisterer wrote to the newspaper:

calatrava y maastricht carta a la vanguardia

“We would like to respond to the article “Maastricht stops building a Calatrava design because of its high cost” (12/XI/2009). On 11 November Santiago Calatrava´s studios were informed (first by the press and later by a representative of the housing corporation) that the building of the Maastricht Campus had been cancelled by Dutch housing corporation Servatius. The press release by Servatius indicates that in the last year the costs have risen by 35 million € which made the company decide to cancel the project. The press release associates the risen costs with a rise in the construction costs of the project. This is not correct. At the beginning of 2008 building costs were budgeted at 124 million €. A second independent report that was executed at Servatius request confirms that construction costs have not risen since that moment. In fact the only way Santiago Calatrava´s offices knew of the estimated costs by means of this report. Up till now Servatius has not asked us to revise the project to reduce costs even though we suggested to Servatius and to the city of Maastricht that we could look into means to save costs. No rise of the costs is related with extra added costs that we know of, nor can they have been caused by the offices of Santiago Calatrava and they can therefore only be seen as the direct result of bad project management by Servatius.” (translation by Thefullcalatrava)

The article was followed by a legal threat to Servatius by Calatrava, urging the housing corporation to release an official statement that Calatrava was not responsible for the risen costs (it is unclear if they meant the rise of 35 million € in 2008 or the rise from 40 million € to more than 200 million € for the whole project since Calatrava joined the project in 2000). Apparently intimidated by Calatrava´s threats, Servatius sent out a letter to Calatrava declaring that the risen costs of the project were not his fault. Instead, the costs that had so run out of hand were blamed on something unclear and abstract: According to Servatius costs had risen by 100 million € because of the financial construction. Who was responsible for this financial construction? How could a financial construction increase the costs of a project of initially 40 million by € 100 million €? Servatius´ declaration did not make sense.

Campus Randwyck Calatrava 01

Calatrava´s building was actually quite cheap: It wasn´t the building that cost money, it was its financial construction.

One thing Servatius´ letter did clearly state is that the architect Calatrava was not to blame for the project´s failure. Calatrava therefore reasoned that if the project was cancelled because of other people´s mistakes, he should be paid the complete sum (10,25%) that he would have received if the campus had not been cancelled. Servatius did not agree, they believed Calatrava should only be paid for the work on the project that had actually been built. May 2011 a judge decided Calatrava was in the right and ordered Servatius to pay him another 4 million €. Here Calatrava was lucky in The Netherlands social housing corporations like Servatius are public offices. Most commercial property promoters would have gone bankrupt, leaving Calatrava without his money, but Servatius was allowed a loan of 100 million € of public funds to avoid this. 4 millions of this public money was directly transferred to Calatrava´s Swiss bank account.

Servatius should never have started the project

Calatrava may have gotten the financial retributions he wanted but the Maastricht campus disaster left Servatius struggling to avoid bankruptcy. By 2010 it was allowed an emergency loan of 100 million € from a Dutch national fund for social housing. It also had to sell 1800 social housing units to cover for the financial effects of the campus affair. The total loss by Servatius on the campus project was calculated in 2012 at 79,9 million €. This was far less than the 100 million € plus revenues of the sale of 1800 housing units. So why did Servatius need that much money in 2010? The reason is that, like most social housing corporations, Servatius was not making money. Instead of earning money to pay for social housing projects themselves, as the Dutch government had so intelligently decided in 1995, housing corporations were losing money. So even apart from the failed campus plans, Servatius was not a financially healthy organization. The obvious conclusion is president Verzijlbergh should never have embarked on the ambitious campus project in the first place. Until today Mr Verzijlbergh does not share this vision. He accuses the new Servatius board of a lack of vision.

Lousy decision makers are taken to court

Following the conclusion that the social housing corporation should never have planned such an expensive and high-risk project, the new Servatius board of control were looking for ways to claim 67 million € from former president Leks Verzijlbergh and eight members of the former board of control. Where often decision makers are allowed to walk away without receiving any personal punishment for their errors, Servatius have taken them to court.

campus stopped 2011

The state of Calatrava´s campus in 2011 reflects the financial health of the building coroporation that hired him.

Dutch minister of internal affairs Liesbeth Spies agreed that the responsible people should be taken to court. For this reason she explicitely forbode Servatius to reach an agreement with Verzijlbergh outside of court as she valued the case as an important precedent for similar cases in the future. By doing this she hoped at least something good would come from this affair. In 2013 new responsible minister Stef Blok revoked this decision and allowed for talks between Servatius and Verzijlbergh. In practice these talks have not lead to any results, the main reason being that former president Verzijlbergh does not have the millions that Servatius asks of him. For this reason he believes the whole juridicial procedure is a political showdown. He is right of course, it ìs a political process. One that aims to stop people like him from wasting large sums of public money. In November 2013 a judge declared Verzijlbergh guilty and ordered him to pay a compensation of 10 million €.

New plans for a new future

14 years after the University of Maastricht first expressed its desire for a new, modern campus it is left with nothing. But there´s a light at the end of the tunnel: Maastricht University, Servatius and the Municipality of Maastricht have reached agreement on the construction of a new University Sports Centre and a redesign of the existing campus. The foundations of the old Calatrava project will be covered by a meter of earth on which a sports hall will be built that looks like… well a sports hall.


The new, affordable design for a sports hall. Not by Calatrava as connoisseurs can tell.



Campus Maastricht – Maastricht (NL)

calatrava maastricht foundationConstruction of the prestigious campus was abandoned after the costs kept increasing. The original budget of 40 million € was soon abandoned. When estimated costs reached 165 million € the housing company pulled the plug on the project because of urgent cash issues, leaving the already invested 66 million € of public money to rot away in the southern Dutch soil.

In case there was any doubt: Calatrava has stated he can not be blamed for the fiasco. How could he be..?

The following are crude notes and links I have gathered during my research. The information may be in various languages and is being updated during the research process until a full article is written. Any additional information is very welcome.

Intentie: 40 miljoen Euro.

Al tijdens ontwerpen:  kosten liepen op naar 165 miljoen.

Op moment stopzetten bouw: 66 miljoen

Kosten moesten worden gedragen door woningcorporatie servatius. Vraag: moet een woningcorporatie dure prestigeprojecten neerzetten of zorg dragen voor de huisvesting van de burgers (want voor 165 miljoen kan je heel wat burgers huisvesten). De woningcoporatie nam zijn toevlucht tot allerlei boekhoudkundige truuks om het benodigde geld vrij te maken. Het ministerie van volkhuisvesting verbood de plannen. Bovendien draaide servatius verlies, waarna de verantwoordelijke directeur Verzijlberg werd ontslagen. Servatius heeft vervolgens het project stopgezet.

Het plan werd gestart zonder dat en uberhaupt een overeenkomst was geslten met de universiteit maastricht. Die stond er geheel buiten.

het programma wekt de indruk dat de megalomane drijvende kracht hier directeur verzijlberg van servatius is geweest.

zie uitzending kanniewaarzijn:

al gezegd in deze uitzending: alles wat calatrava ontwerpt valt veel duurder uit dan begroot.

Time line:


De Universiteit Maastricht vroeg Servatius in 1999 mee te denken over studentenhuisvesting voor vijfhonderd studenten, een sporthal en kantoren. De bekende Spaanse architect Santiago Calatrava werd gevraagd een campus te ontwerpen. Het project werd, voor rekening van Servatius, steeds omvangrijker. In 2009 werd de stekker eruit getrokken wegens een ‘enorme en onbeheersbare’ kostenstijging.

In eerste instantie had het idee een bescheiden opzet – waarom huur je dan Calatrava?

Dec 2004:

Servatius announces the plans for the campus.

Maastricht krijgt een grote universiteitscampus met ruimte voor ongeveer 550 studenten en medewerkers van de Universiteit Maastricht (UM) en de Hogeschool Zuyd. Dat heeft woningcorporatie Servatius in Maastricht bekendgemaakt. De campus zal bestaan uit studentenkamers, appartementen, winkels, kantoren, horecazaken, een sportcentrum en parkeerplaatsen.

De bouw van de nieuwe campus in het Maastrichtse stadsdeel Randwyck gaat 104 miljoen euro kosten. Er is nog een tekort van vijftien miljoen euro. Servatius dekt het grootste deel van dit tekort af. De UM, de provincie Limburg en de gemeente Maastricht, staan garant voor een resterend tekort van 3 miljoen euro. Begin volgend jaar wil initiatiefnemer Servatius met de bouw beginnen. In 2008 moet het complex zijn opgeleverd. De campus is een ontwerp van de Spaanse architect Santiago Calatrava.

Promotional video for the plan: Vision Today, Future Tomorrow:

september 2006:

Minister Dekker stops the project for the campus as she did not believe building the sports hall and office space was part of the housing corporation´s core business.

dec 2006:

Servatius (well, president verzijlbergh) announces the plans for the campus will continue after differences in opinion have been resolved

April 2007

New minister Ella Vogelaar gives Sevatius the go-ahead on the campus plans after the financing structure was changed. Zo is de bouw ondergebracht in een vennootschap, waarbij de gemeente Maastricht en Servatius elk 40 procent risico dragen en de Universiteit Maastricht 20 procent.

Budget status at this point: De bouw van de 546 studentenwoningen, de sporthal en de 8500 vierkante meter kantoorruimte gaat 130 miljoen euro kosten.


Building starts.

werd de bouw begonnen.

nooit uitgevoerd want te duur.

halverwege de bouw gestopt kosten: 66 miljoen

Sept 2009

De woningcorporatie maakte gisteren bekend dat de kosten van de bouw van de campus 200 miljoen euro bedragen, in plaats van 165 miljoen. Onbekend is hoeveel de campus gaat opleveren. „Er is geen enkel contract afgesloten met een klant. Dit is meer avonturieren dan ondernemen”, oordeelt Blommaert.

Blommaert, hoogleraar bedrijfseconomie aan de Universiteit van Maastricht, was slechts negen weken lid van de raad van toezicht. Hij stapte op omdat langer zittende leden van de raad hem tegenwerkten. „Ik kon ze er niet van overtuigen dat het vijf voor twaalf was. Ze wilden niet erkennen dat ze in het verleden hebben zitten slapen.” -zijn toch opgestapt, zie beneden.

-mismanagement. blinded ego´s.

Nov 11 2009

Costs of the complete project are being esteemed 235 million €

Nov 2009

External supervisor Duco Stadig declared at the moment when the plug was pulled on the project that already the choice of architect had been an error. “If you are rich and have all this money in your wallet, it is something you can do. Very near in the City of Liège he has built a beautiful railway station but it has cost double of what was planned…” “This guy (Calatrava) makes very beautiful buildings, let´s be clear on that, but he has to be paid from the budget for a sports hall and some student rooms … and that does not match in size of project. If you want to build rooms for students and a sporting facility, then that is what you need to to and you will just make it (money wise). Housing corporations don´t usually have much money. They have been over-ambitious.”

,,De abrupte conjunctuuromslag maakt duidelijk dat er te veel hooi op de vork is genomen”, zegt Harry Fekkers, vice-voorzitter van de Raad van Toezicht. ,,Dat is gebeurd onder onze verantwoordelijkheid en die verantwoordelijkheid nemen wij.”

13 nov 2009:

calatrava states that the rise in cost of the campus project was not his fault. According to Calatrava construction costs have not risen since early 2008. He also states there has not been any talks with Servatius about cost reduction. Servatius on their behalf explain they have had various talks with people from Calatrava´s firm but the possible adaptations to the original design proved to offer so little reduction in cost that they were not interesting. According to a spokesperson for Servatius, calatrava is trying to prove he is not to blaim. According to this spokesperson the cause of the risen costs are with Servatius, in miscalculations and management of such a large scale project.

-Servatius seem a little intimidated by Calatrava

14 nov 2009

Calatrava declares he is considering on taking legal steps if servatius does not make a statement that he is nor responsible for risen costs. this is declared by Mike Pfisterer project manager at calatrava´s firm.

18 nov 2009:

local politicians look for a way to combine campus plans with other projects in a way to continue on done efforts and so the 35 million invested by servatius will not be a complete loss. this would mean abandoning calatrava´s design.

18 nov 2009

Mike Pfisterer rectifies an article in la vanguardia:

Quisiéramos responder a la noticia “Maastricht renuncia a una obra de Calatrava por su alto coste” (12/ XI/ 2009). El 11 de noviembre, el estudio de Santiago Calatrava fue informado (primero por la prensa y más tarde por un representante del promotor) de que el proyecto de construcción del Campus de Maastricht había sido cancelado por el promotor holandés Servatius. La nota de prensa de Servatius indica que en el último año se ha producido un aumento del coste de 35 millones de euros, un hecho que llevó a la empresa a decidir que debía poner fin al proyecto.

El comunicado da a entender que el aumento está asociado con un incremento de los costes de construcción del proyecto. Esto no es así. Los costes de construcción del proyecto fueron valorados en 124 millones de euros a principios del 2008. Un segundo informe independiente encargado por Servatius mantiene que no ha habido aumentos en el coste de construcción desde ese momento. De hecho, la oficina de Santiago Calatrava sólo ha sido consciente de la estimación de los costes de construcción a través de esta noticia. Hasta el momento, Servatius no nos ha pedido una revisión del proyecto con el objeto de reducir los costes a pesar de que nosotros señalamos, a Servatius y a Maastricht, que podríamos estudiar algunas medidas de ahorro.

Ningún aumento del coste está relacionado con gastos adicionales ni conocidos, ni que puedan haber sido causados por la oficina de Santiago Calatrava y, por tanto, sólo pueden ser considerados un resultado directo de una mala administración del proyecto por parte de Servatius.

Dec 2009

verzijlbergh, former president of servatius says he is speaking with two possible investors to continue the calatrava campus without housing corporation servatius. This just goes to show how obsessed he was with the plans. even when formerly he has nothing to do anymore with the plans, he is still chasing his dream.

Dec 2009:

Housing corporation servatius sends out a letter to calatrava declaring that the risen costs of the project are not his fault, as could be deduced from their earlier press release. They now declare that costs have risen by 100 million € because of the financial construction. How a financial construction has increased the costs of the project by 100 million € is not explained. This statement is obvious nonsense to avoid any claims from Calatrava.

March 2010

the city of maastricht decides not tom investigate any plans to redevelop or continue the existing plans for the campus.

Aug 2010:

Servatius has had to get a loan from a national funds for social housing of 100 million €. It also has to sell 1800 social housing units to cover for the effects of the campus affair. Unclear why so much money has to be earned as the total loss because of the project will turn out to be 79,9 million €. Explanation: The losses servatius has incurred are similar to those in other housing corporations. To these losses the losses of the campus affair should be added. So even apart from the failed campus plans, servatius was not a financially healthy organisation (and should therefore never have started the ambitious campus project in the first place).

Dec 2010:

De huudige Raad van Toezicht noemt het vorige bestuur en toezicht van Servatius ‘ondermaats’. Het overweegt juridische stappen tegen de vroegere raad van bestuur.

Volgens Marijke Clerx, voorzitter van de huidige Raad van Toezicht, laat het rapport zien dat het aannemelijk is dat hierdoor een omvangrijke schade voor Servatius is ontstaan: “Wij zijn ontsteld over de uitkomst van dit onderzoek. Het bestuur van deze corporatie en het toezicht daarop is ernstig onder de maat geweest. Servatius is een maatschappelijke onderneming en wij werken met gemeenschapsgeld. Wij zien het als onze belangrijkste opdracht te voorkomen dat dit nogmaals kan gebeuren, maar ook om te onderzoeken of en hoe de betrokkenen verantwoording moeten afleggen.”

May 2011: 


Na uitspraak van de rechter maakte Servatius in mei dit jaar alsnog vier miljoen euro over aan de architect Santiago Calatrava. Servatius meende Calatrava slechts te hoeven betalen voor het gerealiseerde deel van de door hem ontworpen campus. Nadat de bouw in november 2009 was stilgelegd, vond de architect dat hij aanspraak maakte op het afgesproken percentage van de totale bouwsom (10,25 procent). De rechter gaf hem gelijk.

housing corporation Servatius is ordered to pay another 4 million € to Calatrava. The housing corporation was of the opinion they only had to pay him for the work that had been done, Calatrava claimed he should receive his percentage of the total cost of the planned building. The judge decided Calatrava was right.

July 2011

Woningstichting Servatius uit Limburg wil zestig miljoen euro verhalen op een oud-bestuurder en de raad van toezicht. De corporatie houdt ex-topman Leks Verzijlbergh en acht toezichthouders verantwoordelijk voor het fiasco rondom het project ‘Campus Maastricht’

Verzijlbergh sloot namens Servatius voor hem en de raad van toezicht een verzekering af voor bestuurdersaansprakelijkheid voor in totaal 2,5 miljoen euro. Op dat geld was beslag gelegd. Achmea schat dat alleen de proceskosten oplopen tot 1 of 1,5 miljoen euro.

11 nov 2011

press release : Campus project cancelled

Dec 2011 (announced aug 2012)

Total loss because of campus affair is 79,9 million €

De reeds betaalde zestig miljoen euro is volgens Quaedackers vooral betaald aan aannemers en andere partijen die al contracten hadden getekend voor de bouw van de studentencampus in Randwyck. About 20 millions is still being negotiated.


Minister of internal affairs Spies has forbidden Servatius to come to an agreement with former president verzijlbergh and the former board of supervsison. The reason is that the ministger wishes to have a ruling by a judge to create a precedent for similar cases. This action by the minister proves she has decided to learn from the affair.

Feb 2013

Maastricht University, Servatius and the Municipality of Maastricht reached agreement on the construction of a new University Sports Centre and a redesign of the existing campus. The new sports centre will be built alongside the existing sports facility at Peter Debeyeplein 15, which will become an integral part of the new building. The campus grounds will be newly landscaped and a temporary car park will be constructed pending the further development of the area as part of the Maastricht Health Campus.


The final, sensitive design: a sports hall is a sports hall.

Servatius will carry out its social responsibility by contributing €3.5 million to the project. The proposed solutions will ensure that Servatius can successfully close the campus file and focus its attention on its core activities instead.

  • The campus grounds will be redesigned to include a one-metre layer of earth covering the foundations (of the old Calatrava plan). A temporary car park will be created to accommodate the redevelopment of the area. Several tall light towers will be replaced by shorter models.

Calatrava Bridges (Luit, Harp, Citer) – Hoofddorp (NL)

The following are crude notes and links I have gathered during my research. The information may be in various languages and is being updated during the research process until a full article is written. 

begrootte kosten: 16,4 miljoen Euro


in eerste instantie was het budget 7,5 miljoen. calatrava vond dat het 16,4 miljoen moest kosten.

Uiteindelijke kosten: 28.8 miljoen (39 miljoen volgens lokaal politikus Paul Meijer) + onderhoud 1 miljoen per brug per jaar.

Ondanks de reputatie van Calatrava besloot de gemeente Haarlemmermeer in 1999 Calatrava in te schakelen voor het ontwerpen van 3 bruggen. tegenstanders noemden het bruggenproject megalomaan, waarom moest de gemeente zich zo nodig op de kaart zetten met 3 bruggen over een niet eens zo brede vaart? In 2007 bleek dat nog eens 5 miljoen Euro besteed moest worden aan het bestrijden van roest.

 Tsja Calatrava boudt zijn brouwsels natuurlijk meestal in warme streken. Over roest hadden ze tijdens zijn opleiding in valencia waarschijnlijk nog nooit gehoord.

zie filmpje:

met bombastische klassieke muziek. je vraagt je af wat deze vreemde witte creaturen in de grauwe nederlandse polder te zoeken hebben.

plaatselijke krant refereert aan de bruggen als iets dat algemeen wordt gezien als een misser:

volgens lokale partij forza:

De Rekenkamercommissie heeft al in 2006 een vernietigend rapport uitgebracht waarin onder ander stond dat het gemeentebestuur niet op alle punten lering heeft getrokken uit het onderzoek naar de kostenoverschrijdingen van deze drie bruggen.


rapport rekenkamer in pdf:,d.d2k


in uitzending van het programma kanniewaarzijn van de vara geven poltici die veranwtoordelijk waren voor de calatravabruggen uit dat ze iets zochten met uitstraling, herkenbare punten in een zee van huizen en wegen.

oud-wethouder kroon: markante herkenningspunten in de polder.

oud raadslin Boerman: de bruggen moesten ambitie uitstralen. dat was het idee.

Calatrava is nooit ter plaatse geweest. deed alles vanuit zijn kantoor in zurich.


vaart is maar 9 meter breed. bruggen zien er wat belachelijk uit, veel te groot.

calatrava wilde alleen bij de opening van de brug zijn als ook de koningin aanwezig was. die kwam dan dus maar.


2009;* Bruggen Calatrava worden nu al gerenoveerd…

Van een oplettende collega ontvingen we het onderstaande aanbestedingsbericht dat wat ons betreft voor zichzelf spreekt [hoe is het in ‘s hemelsnaam mogelijk binnen 5 jaar na oplevering?]:
“De gemeente Haarlemmermeer is voornemens de Renovatie van Calatravabruggen Europees aan te besteden. Het werk betreft in eerste instantie de renovatie van 1 tuibrug (de Citer) met hellend stalen pyloon. De renovatie bestaat onder andere uit: het demonteren van de stalen leuningen, verwijderen van de prefab betonnen randelementen, verwijderen asfalt van de looppaden, aanbrengen verankeringen, conserveren van delen van het stalen brugdek, aanbrengen betonnen ondervloer, plaatsen van nieuwe prefab betonnen randelementen, conserveren leuningen en herplaatsen, aanbrengen asfalt op de looppaden, plaatselijk schilderwerk, elektrotechnische installaties, diverse betonreparaties.[…]
Conform artikel 6.2.1 lid e van het ARW 2005 kan de opdrachtgever de hierna genoemde vervolgwerken via onderhandeling zonder voorafgaande bekendmaking tot inschrijving opdragen aan de opdrachtnemer van het basisproject: – renovatie van 1 tuibrug (de Harp), – renovatie van 1 tuibrug (de Luit).”


De lampen die op de pylonen waren gericht zijn al jaren buiten gebruik, terwijl die een duidelijk landmark waren, die vanaf de A4 al zichtbaar waren.Maarja, je verlicht dan wel de duidelijke roestvorming van de tuien… Zou wel eens willen weten waar die miljoenen aan onderhoud aan worden besteed.Nietaan manuren in ieder geval.

Al kort na de oplevering van de bruggen in 2004 bleken ze te roesten. Uitgebreid onderzoek wees uit dat verschillende aannemers in strijd met het bestek inferieure afdichtingen hadden gebruikt waardoor er water en in de winter ook pekelwater in het binnenste van de brug kon komen, dat daar vervolgens zijn vernietigende werk kon gaan doen.

Ook de verlichting was belabberd. Zo werden er bijvoorbeeld geen waterdichte armaturen gebruikt, met als gevolg dat de verlichting vaak niet werkte. De reparatiekosten werden toen geraamd op vier tot vijf miljoen euro, die de gemeente wilde verhalen op de aannemers. De aannemers op hun beurt claimden geld van de gemeente vanwege onverwacht meerwerk. Daarover zijn jarenlang rechtszaken gevoerd, met wisselend succes.

HOOFDDORP – De Calatrava brug Luit bij dePresident/Toolenburg Oost is sinds donderdag weer verlicht.

Alleen jammer dat ze de Luit niet eerst hebben opgeknapt, de verroeste tuien en de smerige pyloon zijn toch een aanfluiting.

De ‘restauratie’ van laatste keer was meer problemen met water onder wegdek oplossen. Aan de bruggen zelf, de Pylonen en de tuien is niets gedaan.

Als je half werk doet, lijkt mij dat de kosten op termijn alleen maar hoger worden.