storn surge barriers at den Oever
storn surge barriers at den Oever

Construction of Storm Surge Barriers

Work in progress
To protect the hinterland against extreme high water for the next 100 years, we are building two completely new storm surge barriers (safety locks). Because we are taking the specific locations into account, they differ from each other. Ships will be able to pass through them as normal, but the waterway will look completely different.

Why

At Den Oever and Kornwerderzand we are building storm surge barrier immediately in front of the navigation lock. If the water level in the Wadden Sea becomes too high, we will close the navigation locks. This way, we protect the hinterland against extremely high tides.

How

At Den Oever in North Holland, we are building a storm surge barrier directly in front of the navigation lock. Under normal circumstances, the navigation lock is open to allow ships to pass. The safety lock closes when the water level in the Wadden Sea becomes too high. The mitre gates are then closed within two minutes.

At Kornwerderzand in Friesland, we will place a storm surge barrier on the Wadden Sea side of the swing bridges. This storm surge barrier protects the hinterland against extremely high tides. The opening of the storm surge barrier is 53 metres wide. This is in line with the region’s ambition to become accessible to larger ships by widening the navigation lock and bridges. Moreover, this width offers more opportunities for the smooth and safe handling of shipping traffic. This storm surge barrier consists of a rolling door that can be driven over a threshold in the waterway. The rolling door weighs 840 tonnes, is 56 metres wide and 12 metres high. When the storm surge barrier is open, the door is not visible. This is because the door casing has been incorporated into the landscape. Closing the storm surge barrier takes a total of seven minutes.

We expect to have to close this barrier a few times a year. Changing climate conditions and the rising sea level mean that this will probably happen more often in the future. At very high water tides, passage for ships is temporarily closed.

When

Work on the construction of the storm surge barriers started in 2020. View the planning of all work on the Afsluitdijk on our homepage.