EU Interrreg grants transnational project to adapt roads to climate change

Published on: 23 November 2023 - Latest update: 6 December 2023, 07:54

On behalf of the entire Rural Roadwater Rescue (RRR) project team, we are delighted to announce that Interreg North-West Europe (NWE) has awarded our grant proposal, focusing on leveraging the potential of the road systems in North-West Europe for the benefit of climate adaptation.

Increasing periods of heavy rainfall alternated with drought leads to new challenges in designing and maintaining roads and highways, as many events throughout Europe showed. In the project Rural Roadwater Rescue road authorities, research institutes and local stakeholders from The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and France will exchange experiences, develop manuals and design experiments to collect, store, clean and distribute rainwater, with the aim of protecting the infrastructure during heavy rainfall and to meet the needs of water in local areas in periods of drought. For this a community-oriented approach is chosen.

‘Highways and roads can play an important role in local and regional climate change challenges. Roads and highways can be designed in a way that rainwater can be collected to be re-used in adjacent areas in periods of drought’, says Stan Kerkhofs, manager of the European project Rural Roadwater Rescue. ‘We are proud the EU Interreg program supports RRR the coming one and a half year. This enables us to exchange experiences and start designing experiments.’


Dutch Rijkswaterstaat initiated RRR as part of a search for contributions by roads and highways to other societal goals than transport and traffic. Therefore Rijkswaterstaat started INNOVA58, a site near highway A58, to test new materials and conduct environmental and energy sound experiments to develop roads of the future. INNOVA58 will also serve as the Dutch test site – a so called use case – for RRR. There will also be use cases in Belgium, Germany and France. The aim of RRR is to distribute the collected knowledge and experiences and to provide a framework to apply RRR in other areas and for other societal challenges.

Facts and figures

Project period: 1-1-2024 to 1-7-2025.