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Work begins on €550m Dutch dyke strengthening

1 Apr 19 A consortium of BAM, Van Oord, Rebel has now officially started work on its €550m (£473m) project to reinforce the Afsluitdijk in the Netherlands.

Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen gave the official starting signal
Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen gave the official starting signal

Minister of infrastructure & water management Cora van Nieuwenhuizen gave the starting signal today (1st April) for the Levvel consortium to reinforce the Frisian side of the dyke, which has protected a large part of the country for 87 years.

The contract was awarded last year (link opens in new tab).

The dyke needs to be made stronger and about 2m higher. It will be covered with 75,000 concrete blocks, which have been made to a new design that reduces the amount of concrete required. Van Oord said that this means a saving of 56% in CO2 emissions. The concrete blocks will be placed on top of the basalt blocks used to construct the causeway.

The drainage complex at Den Oever (at the southeast end) will be expanded with new drainage locks and two large pumping stations. This will allow more of the water that enters the IJsselmeer from the River IJssel to be discharged into the Wadden Sea. The drainage locks at Kornwerderzand will receive a flood barrier that will protect the locks against turbulent weather. In order to restore the connection between the Wadden Sea and the IJsselmeer for migratory fish, a fish migration river will be constructed.

The work is due for completion by the end of 2022. After the work has been completed, Levvel will remain responsible for maintenance for a period of 25 years.

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