Replacing the Hollandsche IJssel barrier - Hollandia

Replacing the Hollandsche IJssel barrier

After almost 65 years, the mechanics of the Hollandsche IJssel barrier, the oldest Delta work in the Netherlands, needed to be replaced. Hollandia Services renewed the drive mechanism of the storm flood barrier for brand new cable drums and drive lines in the western lift towers, commissioned by Rijkswaterstaat. With the new drive mechanism, the barrier and its hinterland are assured of dry feet again.

The great challenge in replacing the cable drums was in hoisting them out and into the existing lift towers. The old cable drums were lifted out of the lift towers using a 750 ton crane from Mammoet. It was quite a precision job to lift these 44-ton drums sideways out of the towers. Hollandia Services designed and built a special pallet hook to slide the drums straight out and to lower them safely to the ground with a turn.

Design and production
The cable drums and drivelines for the new drives were designed by Hollandia. Amongst others, VR technology was used. This way it is possible to see if the design is really correct. Can technicians move around the room, is it organised logically and above all, is it safe? Thanks to the VR glasses, the drawing comes to life. Both drive units were assembled at Hollandia Services. In a test set-up on our premises in Krimpen aan den IJssel, the drives were fully tested for correct functionality. After that, they could be mounted in the lift towers, which are at a height of over 35 metres.

New Muscles
This is fairly unique,” says Marion Tusveld, head of the Rijkswaterstaat flood defence department. ,,The old lady, as many in the neighbourhood affectionately call her, is getting new muscles. The old cable drums act as a kind of pulley to move the gates of the storm flood barrier up and down. The two 480-ton steel gates go down in a storm or at high tide to protect the lowest lying part of the Netherlands. The barrier currently closes three or four times a year to protect against high water, but we expect this to happen more often in the coming decades due to the rising sea level”.

Delta Works in top condition
The Hollandsche IJssel barrier near Krimpen aan den IJssel protects the lowest lying part of the Netherlands, 6.76 m below NAP in Nieuwerkerk aan den IJssel. This Delta work was the first of the 13 to be completed. Rijkswaterstaat started construction one year after the 1953 flood disaster; the barrier was completed in 1958. The monumental barrier also functions as a bridge and waterway. By keeping the Delta Works in top condition, they remain extremely strong and safe. Rijkswaterstaat will carry out special maintenance on the Hollandsche IJssel barrier, the Maeslant barrier, the Hartel barrier, the Volkerak locks and the Haringvliet locks until 2023. We are repairing and replacing parts and improving the operation. We opt for sustainable solutions. In combination with other measures, the barriers protect the residents of South Holland, West Brabant, Utrecht and Zeeland against high water.

In the media
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