WAA progress construction on the IJhal in Amsterdam
Housed within Amsterdam's Centraal Station–the city's nucleus for its numerous modes of public transportation, including trains, buses, subways, trams, and boats–the IJhal is situated at the rear of the station, below its new exoskeleton-capped bus terminal, and along the city's waterfront, the IJ, for which the project is named. Set for completion in 2016, the IJhal is one component of a larger initiative to transform the city's entangled transportation systems. Until the end of the nineteenth century the IJ was a bay still connected to the Atlantic Ocean, and the main entry point for those arriving to the city by boat. The IJ was severed from its direct connection to the Atlantic in 1872, and with the completion of the North Sea Canal in 1876, was reconnected to it; the transformation of the IJ into a bay allows for a tightly regulated water level to be consistently maintained. When Amsterdam Centraal Station opened in 1889, the city lost both its view onto the IJ and its connection to Amsterdam North–a portion of the city that was mainly constructed during the 1920s. With the opening of city's new North-South subway line in 2017, which tunnels the IJ, the city's two halves will be connected for the first time, via publication transportation, without the use of boats. Foreseen as reactivating the entire city, the renovation of Amsterdam Centraal Station–which began in the early 2000s–will conclude in 2019.
The IJhal is integral to the functioning of the new station: it is the area of the station in which travelers by train, bus, and subway will congregate, before they disperse toward their next destination in the Netherlands, or abroad.