The «ENCI Development foundation» is in charge of implementing the transformation plan of the ENCI-area. ENCI is a Dutch cement plant that is located in Maastricht. ENCI’s transformation plan includes the restoration of the 135 ha limestone quarry, the development business park, and establishing a transition zone (between the quarry and business park) and the quay on the River Maas.
The Development foundation has several participants: ENCI (part of the HeidelbergCement Group), Natuurmonumenten (= nature organization), Province of Limburg, City of Maastricht and the foundatioin « Sint-Pietersberg Adembenemend» (a representative of the residents).
In order to re-establish a long-distance footpath from Maastricht (NL) to Liège (B) that was interupted by the limestone quarry, the foundation is collaborating in the EU Interreg IV NWE programme funded RESTORE project. The specific activity is to build a new stairway down the rock face taking people to the floor of the quarry. This is due for completion in August 2015.
The relationship of the stairway to the key themes of RESTORE is strong: it will provide the people of Maastricht and further afield with a means to access what will be an important nature area once the quarry restoration is complete. Meanwhile the quarry is already important for nature; an old area of the quarry is home to Eagle Owls and rare amphibians, and is being managed to provide the special habitats these species need.
Stairway under construction, spring 2015
Impression of the completed stairway into the quarry
A technical report on the commissioning process for building the ENCI Stairway can be viewed here