Delta works, a private car tour
World-class huge civil water engineering projects
In February, 1953 a freak spring tide flood washed over in the southern Dutch province of Zeeland. The damage was enormous. Immediately afterwards, Dutch engineers planned and built the strongest and most extensive and costly system of protective engineering waterworks in the world, the Deltawerken.
For travelers from the USA the aftermath of the devastating 2005 Katrina Flood may inspire to learn firsthand how Dutch engineers were called in. Backed by the experience of about seven centuries of titanic struggle, the Dutch knew what to do – and we can see how they shaped their water management for national physical survival.
Aerial picture: Storm flood barrier built on a truly gigantic scale in the province of South Holland, the Maeslantkering Stormvloedkering in the Nieuwe Waterweg river, opened 1997. Two enormous triangular hinging columns, arranged horizontally and stretching out 240 meters – nearly as high as the Eiffel tower, harness two horizontal mega barriers which effectively block out high tides when fully closed. They protect the low lying Dutch polders of South Holland province.
The humongous hinges towards the left are anchored with ball-bearing spheres as they have to be able to turn both sideways and up and down with ebb and flood movements. This is the grand finale part of the Delta works which were started after the devastating flood of 1953 in the southern provinces of Zeeland and South Holland. One may visit this site. Photo by ANP press agency.
On this day out we can also visit the Neeltje Jans island, boasting a long series of the largest Sluice doors ever, anywhere. They allow ebb and flood to uphold natural life in the Zeeland waters, and they can be closed during spring tide.
Very close are idyllic Zeeland province storybook villages and towns, such as Zierikzee, well worth a visit. This whole trip makes it a full day out into the countryside.
Tour by Drs Kees Kaldenbach, a professional Art History scholar with excellent teaching skills. Specialist in Fine art and Design, Architecture and History. VIP entry.
Drs Kees Kaldenbach: „…he is wildly overqualified to be a guide . That is his secret… Trust me on this.” Gabe. Statement made February, 2017.
Larger images are available on this old school site.
Please note: This trip requires YOU driving a car, or rent a car and driver. By Dutch law, I am not allowed to drive your car or my own car. From Amsterdam it is a full day out, with many interesting points of visit.