Spakenburg gets world’s longest self-closing flood barrier
From mid-2017, a self-closing flood barrier that rises along with the water level will protect the historic centre of the village of Bunschoten-Spakenburg (Province of Utrecht) against flooding.
When westerly storms with winds of 11 on the Beaufort scale whip up the waters of the Eemmeer, it doesn’t take long for the water to rise over the quays of Spakenburg’s harbour. The challenge was to raise the quays without detracting from the appearance of the picturesque historic harbour.The Vallei and Veluwe Water Authority issued a tender that gave market parties extensive freedom to design an innovative, flexible flood defence that could be set up within three hours.
The contract for building a self-closing flood barrier was awarded to the contracting consortium of Van Heteren and Jansen-Venneboer, whose design makes efficient use of space, fits in well with the location and has been proven to be strong. At 300 metres, the dam in Spakenburg will be the longest self-closing flood barrier in the world, and the only one that functions as a primary flood defence. The design is remarkable for its simplicity; almost no mechanical parts are needed, which makes it extremely easy to maintain.
The Flood Protection Programme has commissioned the construction of the world’s longest self-closing flood barrier in Spakenburg. The barrier will leave the view of the harbour intact, and may serve as a solution for other historic city centres.