Amsterdam chooses the bridge over the IJ

Amsterdam choses the bridge over the IJ

The city of Amsterdam wants to improve the crossing between Amsterdam North and the rest of the city with the project ‘Jump over the IJ‘. Different options were explored in 2015 for this purpose. From improving the use of ferries to cable cars and bridges to get across the river. The municipality received over 75 ideas including various designs for bridges and tunnels.

SCBA Jump over the IJ

In the autumn of 2016, Decisio investigated several alternatives in a Social Cost-benefit Analysis (SCBA). This contributed to the recent decision of the Amsterdam Municipal Council to optimize the existing ferry system and to construct a bridge over the IJ (Javabrug).

Six project alternatives

In the SCBA, six project alternatives were analysed and compared to the reference alternative (zero alternative). The following effects were considered:

  • Financial effects. These include investment costs, management costs and maintenance costs as well as the potential to move the cruise terminal. In addition, the operational costs of the ferries are accounted.
  • Accessibility effects. Based on the Amsterdam traffic model, travel time gains are calculated for different groups of road users, namely: motorists, cyclists, pedestrians and publci transport passengers. In addition, effects on reliability of a route and the travel costs of individual travelers have been taken into account.
  • External effects. For each alternative, the effects on traffic safety, noise, air quality, climate, labor productivity and health were examined. In addition, the economic effects of the project alternatives for the cruise, indoor and recreational activities have been investigated as well as the effects on government income tax and revenues are considered.

The following project alternatives have been investigated:

Alternative                              Measures

Reference 2030                    Current ferry system

Alternative 1                          Optimize the ferry system
Alternative 2                         IJpleintunnel
Alternative 3                         Javabrug or –tunnel
Alternative 4                         Stenen Hoofdbrug or –tunnel
Alternative 5                         Javabrug and Stenen Hoofdbrug or Javatunnel en Stenen Hoofdtunnel
Alternative 6                         Metrostation Sixhaven and/or pedestrian tunnel at Centraal Station

Javabrug has a social impact of 780 million euros (present value)

The municipality of Amsterdam has chosen to realise project alternative 1: optimize the ferry system. This differs from other project alternatives by its relatively low cost (favourable financial impact). However, the overall social impact of this alternative is lower than the other project alternatives. The sum of costs and benefits of this alternative is, in the high scenario (assuming high growth of residents and road users), 290 million euros (present value). In addition, the municipality wants to realise a bridge on Java’s (short term). This variant is distinguished by its relatively high social impact of 780 million euros (cash value, high scenario) and better scores than a tunnel. If the municipality would eventually decide to realize a bridge at the Stenen hoofd, the social benefits would increase to 1.1 billion euros (cash value, high scenario). The difference between cost and benefit is the most positive in this project alternative (5) compared to the other alternatives. The cost to benefit balance is 820 million euros (current value, high scenario).

Accessibility effects for cyclists

The highest social benefits are determined by the relatively high accessibility for cyclists. On the one hand, by realizing a bridge or improvement of the ferry system, existing and future residents of Amsterdam by bike can be faster at the destination of Amsterdam North or from Amsterdam North to other parts of the city. On the other hand, the arrival of a bridge or tunnel or improved connection encourages more people to make use of the bicycle. This not only determines less travel time, but also for a positive effects on the climate, city air quality and labor productivity and cyclists’ health.

More information

More information about the project and the decision of the municipality for a fixed bridge connection with Amsterdam Noord can be found on the website of the municipality of Amsterdam:
You can find the complete Decisio SCBA here.

More information can also be obtained from Niels Hoefsloot (n.hoefsloot [at] or Daan van Gent (d.vangent [at] Or by telephone at 020-6700562.

See also