Rijkswaterstaat, which is part of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure & the Environment, has awarded the Afsluitdijk project to the Levvel consortium. The JV is formed by Van Oord Aberdeen Infrastructure Partners (46%), BAM PPP PGGM Infrastructure Coöperatie (46%) and RebelValley (8%). Levvel will be responsible for designing, building, financing the strengthened Afsluitdijk and carrying out 25 years of maintenance.
The 32km-long dam has protected large parts of the Netherlands since 1932 against flooding from the Wadden Sea and the IJsselmeer. The project will strengthen the dyke, increase the discharge capacity and build pumps to transport more water to the Wadden Sea. BAM said that, after the Afsluitdijk has been reinforced, it will be able to withstand a one in 10,000-year storm.
Levvel will use innovative concrete elements to strengthen the dyke; another innovative features of the project will be the installation of a floodgate of fibre-reinforced plastic. In addition, the A7 road will made safer by widening the emergency lanes. The design also caters for recreation and ecology, through construction of a cycle path on the Wadden Sea side along the entire length of the Afsluitdijk, ecological facilities along the dyke and fish-friendly pumps.
Michèle Blom, director general of Rijkswaterstaat said: "Rijkswaterstaat is looking forward to working with Levvel. Levvel has created a smart and robust design that honors the heritage of Lely (the civil engineer and statesman, who was responsible for turning the former Zuiderzee into the IJsselmeer and for reclaiming a vast area of new land)."
On behalf of the consortium, Van Oord CEO Pieter van Oord said: “It is an honour to be able to contribute to this unique project, which has protected large parts of the Netherlands against flooding since 1932.”
Construction is expected to start this autumn for completion in 2023.