Rijkswaterstaat – the executive agency of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment – entrusted BESIX with the construction of the Limmel flood barrier. Our experience in lock construction enabled us to submit a detailed quality plan, explaining the safety aspects and disruptions during and after the project.
Together with Agidens Infra Automation, which took care of the mechanical dimension of the project, and Rebel Group, providing financial advice, we were responsible for the design, construction, financing and maintenance of the flood barrier. This in itself was already a first: never before had one party been entrusted with the construction and maintenance of a whole flood barrier for such a long time. And this was good news as it allowed us to work more efficiently and learn from one another.
- Design and construction of the new flood barrier
- Demolition of the old flood gate
- Maintenance of the complex
- Attract and follow up funding
Rijkswaterstaat gave us the opportunity to explore innovative solutions. Together with Agidens we designed a simple yet powerful hydraulic lifting mechanism to move the lock gate. We implemented a smart solution to avoid leaks: by anchoring the dam walls on each of the four sides of the new flood gate in the limestone rock bed, we created a watertight container.
This is the third time BESIX builds such a flood barrier. Nevertheless, this project also has its own challenges, including the very limited room for manoeuvring when carrying out major lifting operations due to the presence of the existing floodgate. It was also crucial to minimize disruption to ship traffic on the busy Meuse during the works. Except for two weekends, freight traffic remained uninterrupted throughout the entire period. To ensure this, we first built the new lock, and we only demolished the old one after that, also making sure the Limburg hinterland would remain optimally protected during the works.