The Ketheltunnel, part of the A4, was closed during almost the entire morning rush hour on Monday morning. According to Rijkswaterstaat, there were not enough personnel to operate the tunnel. Two employees called in sick this morning and it was not possible to arrange a replacement at short notice. Rijkswaterstaat and the ANWB speak of a heavy morning rush hour in Rotterdam and elsewhere in South Holland.
The tunnel tube to The Hague reopened at around 8.30 am. Not long afterwards, traffic to Rotterdam was able to drive through the tunnel again. Nevertheless, the ANWB expects it to remain busy on the roads around Rotterdam for a while.
Rijkswaterstaat reports that two employees, including the tunnel operator, called in sick this morning. Other employees took over their shifts, after which the tunnel could open again.
As a result of the road closure, there were significant delays around Rotterdam at the start of the morning rush hour, especially on the A4 and A15. Traffic could temporarily detour on the A13 and A20.
The Ketheltunnel is operated day and night from the Rijkswaterstaat traffic control center in Rhoon, South Holland, and monitored by a tunnel operator. Rijkswaterstaat cannot guarantee safety in the tunnel without personnel.
Rijkswaterstaat assumes that the staff shortage due to illness is a one-off incident and does not expect the tunnel to have to be closed more often for this reason. A spokesperson denies that the traffic control center is struggling with a general staff shortage.
The Kethel tunnel is a so-called land tunnel: it does not cross a river or canal. The tunnel opened in 2015.