Sunday 02 April 2023

Heatwave hits bridges, shipping in Amsterdam’s waterways

The Magere Brug, a 1934 copy of the original bridge, will remain closed. Photo: S Sepp via Wikimedia Commons

Several of Amsterdam’s bridges are now permanently closed because the high temperatures have caused the metal to expand, make them tricky to open and close.

Twelve bridges were closed as of Tuesday morning, including the Magere Brug which straddles the Amstel river.  Additional bridges are expected to join the list in the course of the week.

Under less extreme water conditions the metal hinges and locks are kept cool with water out of the canals but it has been too warm for too long for this to have an effect, website said on Tuesday.

Bridge operators are now keeping the bridges closed for the duration of the heatwave.

Commercial shipping through the waters of the Dutch capital has been substantially reduced as a result of the drought.

The so-called eastern route – Nieuwe Herengracht, Amstel –  was closed off on Monday evening. The western Kostverlorenvaart  route – Singelgracht, Westerkanaal –  remains open for barges and other commercial vessels.

Thank you for donating to

The team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation. has been free for 16 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.