The ENCI-quarry in Maastricht is a 135 ha limestone quarry. Limestone is an important raw material for the production of cement.
The cement plant ENCI was established in 1926. In 2009 a transformation plan for the whole ENCI area was developed and approved. As a result, limestone excavation in Maastricht will finish completely in july 2018.
The older areas of the quarry have developed to be important for nature, with many species of plants, birds, butterflies and amphibians. And because of its proximity to the city of Maastricht it will become an important resource for the local community.
A historical long-distance footpath from Maastricht to Liège (Belgium) ran through the site originally but disappeared as a result of the limestone excavation. The Foundation for the development of the ENCI area is preparing to restore this historical route through the quarry. This will be done in the form of a stairway and viewpoint which will go from the top of the Saint- Peters Mountain in Maastricht to the floor of the quarry. This will join with a pathway through the transition zone on the ENCI-site, so that people will be able to reach Liege in the future. People will learn about the geological history of the area as they descend the stairway. This stair (height > 40 metres) will be completed in summer 2015. A technical report on the design and commissioning of the stairway is available here to provide insight for others considering a similar project.
The Foundation for the development of the ENCI area can count on financial support of Interreg, through the RESTORE-project . ENCI, Natuurmonumenten (a Dutch national nature NGO who will be the future owner of the quarry), City of Maastricht, Province of Limburg and a representative of the neighbours will also make a contribution.
Landmark staircase complete
A viewing platform now soars 40 meters above the limestone quarry in Maastricht (NL). And a new staircase down the quarry face that focuses on restoring a culturally significant long-distance foothpath from Maastricht (NL) to Liège (B). Late October it was officially opened at cement plant ENCI in Maastricht. The viewing platform is already open for public, the stair will be open for public in 2016, when the walking paths to the other side of the quarry are equipped.
Around 100 guests, including government representatives, planners, local residents, engineers, contractors, as well as several RESTORE partners, were present during the opening. They climbed the stair and enjoyed the spectacular view from the viewing platform. Those present were without exception extremely positive about the result.
There were short speeches from the General Manager of HeidelbergCement Benelux (of which ENCI is part), an alderman of the city of Maastricht, a member of the provincial Executive of the Province of Limburg, the General Manager of Natuurmonumenten and a representative of the neighbours.
Existing nature area in the ENCI quarry
The new 40m stairway and viewing platform in situ
Aerial view showing the location of the stairway
Download RESTORE project information leaflet for the ENCI Maastricht site above (in English)