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Van Oord helps build temporary emergency dam in Maastricht

Posted on March 6, 2024

Van Oord’s subsidiary Paans Van Oord has successfully completed work on the second emergency dam in the river Meuse, Maastricht, the Netherlands. As a result of high water, the spillway dam was damaged in early January 2024. Part of the lining of the spillway dam had been loosened and washed away by the force of the water. Due to the strong current, it proved impossible to close the hole in the dam at short notice.

The project was commissioned by Rijkswaterstaat. Main contractor Mourik has brought market parties with different expertise together to find a solution, including Boorsma and Paans Van Oord.

Due to the high water discharge and associated flow velocities, this was a complex operation. After the hole in the spillway dam was caused, a first emergency dam was constructed within a week to reduce the strong current. To construct this first quarry stone emergency dam, Paans Van Oord deployed crane vessel Leendert Sr. and two excavators. In order to build the emergency dam from both banks, Rijkswaterstaat engaged the Ministry of Defence to build a ferry connection between the east and west banks of the River Meuse for moving equipment across. Simultaneously, Chinook helicopters flew back and forth with nets full of quarry stone to partially close the hole in the spillway dam.

The second emergency dam is intended to secure the water level in the Meuse. As a base for this dam, fascine mattresses were first installed on the riverbed. Later, a special type of fascine mattresses  with foil were created next to the emergency dam, towed to the desired location and weighted with stones to make the dam effective. More than 15,000 tonnes of quarry stone were installed to raise the emergency dam to the right height. Now that the second emergency dam is in place, the water level has returned to its original level and work can start on permanently restoring the spillway dam.

Peter Brand, Projectmanager at Paans van Oord: ‘It was a complex emergency operation that involved a lot of effort from all parties involved. The intensive collaboration and mutual trust between Rijkswaterstaat, Mourik, Boorsma and Paans Van Oord resulted in an almost impossible prestation, partly caused by mutual trust. I am very proud of that!’


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