Afsluit dyke repair work delayed by three years, and will cost millions more

The Afsluitdijk - part of the flood defences. Photo: Pixabay
The Afsluitdijk – part of the flood defences. Photo: Pixabay

Essential repair work on the Afsluit dyke which separates the IJsselmeer lake from the North Sea, will take three years longer than planned and will cost more than the budget, infrastructure minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen has told MPs in a briefing.

The work, which started at the end of 2018, is being carried out because sea water levels are rising and there is an increasing risk of extreme weather, the infrastructure ministry’s road department said at the time.

The dyke is being clad in 75,000 concrete blocks each weighing 6,500 kilos and produced at a special factory in Harlingen. The sluice gates are also being strengthened and new pumping stations are being built to get rid of superfluous water.

The project was originally budgetted at €555m with a finish date of 2022 but according to construction industry magazine Cobouw, the cost will now be hundreds of millions of euros more.

The main delay has been caused by a design fault in the sluice gates, which first came to light in the summer, the minister said.

More errors

The Financieele Dagblad points out that this is the latest in a string of projects in which the infrastructure ministry has been forced to revise deadlines and budgets for major works.

Earlier this year, contracts for the Zuidasdok tunnel project in Amsterdam were torn up after a conflict over pricing with the construction companies which won the tenders.

New sluice gates and locks at IJmuiden and Terneuzen are also over budget and and the contract for tackling traffic congestion at the Hoevelaken blackspot was annulled after a dispute about prices, the paper said.

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