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Enhancing mobility and sustainability at an interchange with geogrid built up bridge abutments



The Emmen-West traffic junction project in the Netherlands aimed to improve road safety, traffic flow, and accessibility at the intersection of Rondweg Emmen (N391) and N34. The client, the province of Drenthe, wanted a solution that would enhance traffic flow without using a roundabout or traffic lights and would also minimize the impact on the environment.


The solution needed to minimize the impact on the environment and reduce CO₂ emissions, while blending into the surrounding landscape and staying within the planned schedule and budget.

To address the challenges within a short time frame, a collaborative approach was adopted by forming a project team consisting of the client (the province of Drenthe), the contractor, Solmax Engineering partner Nepocon an engineering firm, and a Solmax Engineering Business Manager.


The original design involved the use of heavy protective walls and steel sheet piling. Instead, a retaining wall constructed with MIRAGRID® GX geogrid was designed. The retaining wall would serve as a bridge abutment structure and blend in well with the surroundings.

The individual construction phases of the complex road structure were planned with the help of a 3D Revit model to create a custom made and efficient geogrid installation plan so that the project was completed within the budget and ahead of schedule.

Furthermore, the optimization of the retaining wall design resulted reduced CO₂ emissions. Using MIRAGRID® in this project reduced the number of natural resources extracted and processed for construction. Geogrids improve the stability, strength, and durability of retaining walls by providing reinforcement to the soil, helping to mitigate potential settlement or slope failure issues. This results in longer lasting and more reliable retaining walls.

In total, 50,000 m² (164,042 ft²) of MIRAGRID® GX was installed. MIRAGRID ® geogrids are made of high-tenacity polyester yarns, and their combination of high tensile strength and low creep makes them ideal for reinforcing retaining walls.

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