On Monday evening, 4 June 2018, Heijmans began work on behalf of Rijkswaterstaat to pull down the section of existing noise barrier on site at the stretch of the A50 at Uden where the Solar Highways project is being implemented.
An integral part of the Solar Highways project involves pulling down the existing noise barrier. This work is expected to last until 13 June, and will generally be carried out in the evening and at night. The resulting sections of concrete wall will be re-used in a sustainable way in other new noise barrier projects on the A50 corridor, in Nistelrode and Veghel.
Once the existing noise barrier has been pulled down, the foundations on site will be adapted to the dimensions required by the Solar Highways project, the new barrier plus solar panels. From August - November 2018 the new concrete sections of wall (lower metre) and sound-proof solar panels will be installed. In November the cabling and the electrical systems will be completed and then tested. Commissioning and supplies of power from the Solar Highways project is planned for December 2018.
Once the existing concrete noise barrier has been pulled down there will, for a time, be no barrier. The project schedule envisages all possible measures to keep this period to a minimum. In the period in question, local residents will be subjected to extra traffic noise. A letter sent to all local residents at the start of May explained the situation in detail to them.
Following commissioning of the project the energy-generating capacity will be accurately assessed by the Solar Energy Application Centre (SEAC) for 18 months. To do this a number of testing areas will be created with, for instance, a range of cleaning regimes. The results will be used to improve prospective estimates of maintenance requirements, energy performance and the return on investment of future noise barriers fitted with photovoltaic panels.