In the Netherlands numerous estuaries break up the mainland from the east to the west. The Dutch province of Zeeuwsch-Vlaanderen was cut off from the other parts of the country by the Westerschelde and could only be reached by ferry or by road with a detour via Antwerp (Belgium).
In order to enhance the economical development of the region it was necessary to create a short, reliable and weather independent road connection with the neighbouring province of Zuid-Beveland. In 1999 the NV Westerscheldetunnel awarded the contract for construction of the project consisting of two 6.6 km long road tunnels with an internal diameter of 10.10 m and cross passages at 250 m intervals, including access roads, ramps and toll stations. The project was completed and officially opened to traffic on14th March 2003 by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands.