Ben van den Horn

Ben van den Horn


On 9 and 10 June 2022 the 6th TSO Forum will take place in Brussels (Belgium). The central theme, tunnel refurbishment, will be highlighted by relevant presentations, workshops and lively discussions. The event will start at Thursday morning and includes an afternoon site visit and a joint dinner in the evening. On Friday morning we continue with lectures and we close the event with a lunch. Of course, there will be plenty of time to meet and greet other TSO’s!

 Pre-register for the 6th TSO Forum in Bussels

The ITA COSUF TSO Webinar on Refurbishments of Road Tunnels (18 November 2021) organised by Activity Group 4 (Tunnels Safety Officers) supported by the Dutch Knowledge Centre for Underground Construction and Inderground Space (COB) was visited by 72 attendees mainly from Europe and few from India and New Sealand. This webinar was ment as a teaser for the bi annual TSO Forum in 2022, where the main topic will be tunnel refurbishment. This TSO6 will be organised on June 9 and 10th 2022 in Bruxelles. After a brief introduction by ITA COSUF Chairman Max Wietek the main programme started with a presentation by Silvester Heijdemann (Rijkswaterstaat) and Harry de Haan (Rijkswaterstaat) of the renovation of the Heinenoordtunnel in the Netherlands. Besides renewals of equipment, a new safety concept with a central escape gallery is created and during construction one tube is in operation most of the time which is a challenge.  A second presentation was provided by Program Director Richard Bormans of Arcadis who is assigned by the Flamish Road Authority to carry out the preparations for the total and integral renovation of the Vierarmentunnel in the Brussels ring road and of the Beverentunnel in the Antwerp ring road. In this assignment BIM models, tunnel safety documentation and renovation files are supplied for both the TERN and non-TERN road tunnels. 

Both presentations showed that to prepare a road tunnel renovation one should not only focus on a safe final situation, but also on the construction phase where part of the tunnel is in operation.

The presentations can be downloaded here.

Refurbishment of Heinenoordtunnel by Silverster Heijdemann and Harry de Haan 

Renovation of Road Tunnels - A Flanders Example by Richard Bormans

On the 20-21 October 2021, an international meeting was held for the second time on new energy carriers for road transport, such as battery electric vehicles, vehicles propulsed by natural gas and hydrogen, and the negative consequences these new energy carriers can have for underground infrastructure. Due to the covid-19 pandemic, the conference was completely digital. Like the first congress in February 2019, it was organized by PIARC, ITA-COSUF and KPT. The various presentations show that knowledge about the risks of the new energy carriers has increased significantly in the past two years and that various solutions have been identified to manage these risks


The presentations (Day 1 and Day 2) and a full report can be downloaded here.

Full report of the workshop

Day 1 

Presentation Felix Haberl

Presentation Dmitry Molkov

Presentation Max Lakkonen

Presentation Patrik Fößleitner

Presentation Haukur Ingason


Day 2

Presentation Remi Berger

Presentation Christoph Willmann

Presentation Ola Willstrand

Presentation Holger Heinfellner

Presentation Frank Leismann

Presentation Oliver Heger 


The ITA COSUF Webinar on Tunnel Safety (29 April 2021) organised by Activity Group 4 (Tunnels Safety Officers) in collaboration with the Dutch Knowledge Centre for Underground Construction and Inderground Space (COB) was visited by over 200 attendees from all over the world. After a special word of introduction by ITA COSUF Chairman Max Wietek the main programme started by a visionary talk of TSO Andre Stein on tunnels in the 21th century with all future changes in mobility. Andre expressed his view on the self-rescue concept of future road tunnels in an age of disruption. Then the new Köhlbrand crossing in Hamburg was covered in a presentation by Olaf Thiemann (Hamburg Port Authority) and Frank Embert Kreiser with a bicycle tunnel as a special topic. And last but not least the COB paper on cyber security was presented by Jasper Kimstra and Johannes Braams of COB. They went into the details when the paper will be useful during the lifecycle of a tunnel. After the webinar the 22nd meeting of the ITA-COSUF Activity Group 4 was held.

The presentations can be downloaded here.

ITA COSUF Max Wietek: Special word of introduction.

1. Andre Stein: Tunnels in the 21th century – the next level.

2. Olaf Thiemann en Frank Ember Kreiser: The new Köhlbrand crossing, a new tunnel for Hamburg!

Fire test bicycle in tunnelDelft 1/2021

3. Jasper Kimstra and Johannes Braams: Tunnels and Cyber Security








In 2019 - 2020 ITA COSUF has developed a vision based on discussions, both in public and internal workshops in order to carefully consider the latest and future developments of modern means of transportation from the underground infrastructure perspective. The vision development was backed up with a cooperation between ITA COSUF and PIARC, formally governed by a Memorandum of Understanding between the two organisations that was signed in 2005. ITA COSUF kindly asks the EC Directorates General in charge of the European Union Framework Programme for Research and Innovation 2021 – 2027 (Horizon Europe) to consider ITA COSUF’s view for more detailed topics to be developed in the coming Work Programmes. This document contains ITA COSUF’s vision on New Operational Road Tunnel Safety Issues in a Low Carbon Economy and Smart Mobility Environment. It was prepared by Ben van den Horn, Roland Leucker, Eric Premat, Götz Vollmann and Max Wietek and approved by the Steering Board.

See the promo of the vision paper


Download the Vision Paper


Click here to learn about the very first ITA-COSUF webinar broadcast on tunnel safety. With three interesting topics and speakers, we think this is a unique opportunity to keep up on tunnel safety related items.  Hope to see you on 29 April 2021.

The  ITA COSUF Newsletter December 2019 is available with a report on the ITA COSUF Workshop in Innsbruck, news from the Steering Board and planned events in 2020 and other events that are endorsed. So close to the end of this year, the Steering Board members and I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for the support and the co-operation of ITA COSUF in the past twelve months and we wish you good health and a happy and prosperous New Year. The full Newsletter can be downloaded here.

The last months of 2018 have been quite an active period of ITA COSUF. In fall 2018 ITA COSUF has contributed to the PIARC International Conference on Road Tunnel Operations and Safety (3-5 October 2018). On the 2nd of October Activity Group meetings and the General Assembly 2018 took place. Click ITA COSUF News (December 2018) to read all about the interesting work of the ITA COSUF Award Winner 2018 and a preview of the ITA COSUF events scheduled in 2019.




ITA COSUF Workshop in Utrecht. 

New energy carriers (also known as NEC) for road transport, such as battery electric cars, and fuel cell cars, entail new risks for the safety of tunnels and underground parking lots. In order to get an idea of ​​the magnitude of these risks are and how they can be controlled, research is needed, preferably in a European context. That is the most important outcome of the two-day international Workshop on NEC in Road Tunnels that took place in Utrecht on 20 and 21 and was organized by KPT, ITA-COSUF and PIARC.

The first day of the conference consisted of an Expert Meeting on invitation during which the most urgent research needs for the near future were discussed. The second day was a public workshop with several sessions concerning respectively safe operation of tunnels and other underground transport facilities, the perspective of the emergency services, research activities and research, available instruments and future needs. The day ended with a panel discussion.

A long read of the workshop is available and can be downloaded here. The presentations of the workshop can be downloaded here.



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