When will the Nelson Mandela Bridge reopen?

On Thursday, Jan. 26, 7 p.m., the Nelson Mandela Bridge will reopen for pedestrians and cyclists. NS trains will then also stop again at Zoetermeer station. From Friday, January 27, RandstadRail will again stop at the Driemanspolder stop.

Can I drive the car under the bridge now?

Yes, the A12 has been open again to traffic in both directions since 11:45 p.m. on Friday evening, December 30.

Beginning at 8 a.m. Monday, January 2, the northbound lane of Zuidweg toward Africa Road will be closed. A detour route is marked with signs. For more information see Traffic Consequences.

Can I take the train now?

The trains are running, but it is not possible to get on and off at NS station Zoetermeer. On Thursday, Jan. 26, 7 p.m., this will be possible again.

Can I take the RandstadRail now?

The RandstadRail runs but it is not possible to get in and out at the RandstadRail stop Driemanspolder. This will be possible again on Friday, January 27.

Can I take the bus now?

Buses are running, but the Arriva bus stop Mandela Bridge on the A12 has been dropped.

Also, from Monday, December 19, the bus stop at Zoetermeer station in Rokkeveen will not be in use. This affects several bus lines. There are temporarily other stops and altered routes. Read more at Consequences public transport.

Do shuttle buses run?

Yes. Between 5:30 and 1:30 a.m. buses run from the squares on both the Rokkeveen side and the Driemanspolder side to Zoetermeer-Oost Station. The vans do not have fixed departure times, but you do not have to wait long for a bus. In about 10 minutes it will be back at the departure point.

On Thursday, Jan. 26, 7 p.m., the bridge will reopen. NS trains will then also stop again at Zoetermeer station. From Friday, January 27, RandstadRail will again stop at the Driemanspolder stop. From Friday, January 27, there will be no more shuttle buses.

Is there guarded bicycle parking?

The guarded bicycle parking area at Zoetermeer Station is open. Here you can take the shuttle bus to Zoetermeer-Oost Station to board the train.

When can I walk or bike across the bridge again?

This can be done again starting Thursday, Jan. 26, 7 p.m.

How do I get to the other side of the A12 by bicycle?

Cycling is not possible over the Nelson Mandela Bridge. The advice is to use the Balijbrug, 1st Stationsstraat or Rokkeveenseweg-Zuid. From Thursday, January 26, 7 p.m., the Nelson Mandela Bridge will be open again for cyclists.

I am a business owner near the Nelson Mandela Bridge. Where can I go with questions?

You can contact entrepreneurial coach Irma de Graaff at i.m.de.Graaff@zoetermeer.nl.

Previously, Jan. 1, 2023 was the hard deadline by which the measures had to be in place. Will it still be safe if it gets later now?

The Department of Public Works advisory report cites Jan. 1, 2023, as the deadline for taking action. Unfortunately, it will take longer to complete work to support the bridge. The cracking of the bridge will be continuously monitored and alerts will remain in place so that, if necessary, the Department of Public Works and all other parties can be alerted in a timely manner if changes occur.

In addition, we can now better predict the temperature for January again. We are continuously monitoring the crack development. With this, the situation is under control. From the monitoring we can see if there are any changes and we can take timely measures in consultation with Rijkswaterstaat and all other parties if necessary.

Why does the bridge section go away near the A12 and not above the train tracks?

By dismantling the bridge deck and canopy above the A12, it is not necessary to place a support structure on the emergency lanes of the A12. This allows the emergency lanes in the direction Utrecht/The Hague to remain in use. People are more likely to slow down if they see a construction on the emergency lane, worsening the traffic flow.

For the rail track, the work to completely dismantle the canopy would have a long-term impact on public transport infrastructure. By dismantling only the canopy and bridge deck above the A12, the impact on public transportation is limited.

What will happen to the Nelson Mandela Bridge in the future?

The City Council and the City Architect believe that the bridge has a high cultural-historical value. It is a very important structure from the Post 65 period (1965-1990). Both the architecture of the bridge, after a design by Johan Bak, and the reason for its construction, the construction of Rokkeveen in combination with the arrival of the Floriade, make it an icon of Zoetermeer. In the past, this icon has often been used as a logo of Zoetermeer and has an important meaning for its inhabitants.

In the coming weeks, the bridge section above the A12 will be removed, including that part of the glass canopy. It is still being investigated whether the canopy can remain on the other bridge sections. After all the work on the bridge has been completed, the bridge will be safe for the next few years. Meanwhile, we are continuing to work on the long-standing plans for a new bicycle bridge and bus stops above the A12. This could be ready in three years. After that, the plan is to sustainably restore the Nelson Mandela Bridge and use it for pedestrians and as a station concourse. This planning will also include the reuse of the glass canopy.

Can I see anything from the work?

We have a photographer who takes pictures regularly. Check out Photos. The webcam that showed the bridge and highway from the beginning of the work has been taken down. A video of the webcam images will follow soon. A drone video of the removal of the bridge section above the A12 on December 29, 2022 has been made, go to Nelson Mandela Bridge.