Action plan Realization of dike reinforcement Hansweert adopted

On 28 June, the Executive Board of the Scheldestromen Water Council adopted the Action Plan for the realization phase of the Hansweert Dike Reinforcement Project. This plan was explained at an informative general meeting tonight. Owner of the flood protection portfolio Philipp Keller: “The adoption of this plan is a milestone for the project. The preparation process is now complete. If our general assembly in September makes the necessary budget available, we can seriously start strengthening the dike. It starts we will join before the end of the year! ”

Under preparation since 2017

Preparations for the dike improvement in Hansweert started in 2017 with the project’s so-called exploration phase. This was followed by the plan preparation phase. In this phase, the complete activity statement was presented, accompanied by a cost estimate. Now the realization is about to begin. The current cost estimate for the realization phase is 163 million euros.

The Water Board is also currently facing the consequences of the rising costs of building materials such as steel, concrete and bitumen as well as the expected rise in inflation. All of these factors are included in the current cost estimate. This gives an extra financial plus to the project compared to previous estimates.

All steps shown

During the preparation, the necessary activities, the implementation method and materials to be used, as well as the associated costs, were mapped step by step. The Hansweert dike improvement project is a complex project. The safety standard for this dike section is very high. The reason for this is that the Hansweert core is very low, so that in the event of a dike rupture, meter water will reach the polder in a short time.

Furthermore, timely evacuation of the residents of Hansweert is not possible. In addition, the difference between the current strength and height of the dike and the legally prescribed standard is very large. This requires not only a crown increase, but also a significant reinforcement of the inner berm and cladding. This takes up a lot of space. The infrastructure must also be adapted

Dike reinforcement complexity

The space required for the dike improvement requires the acquisition of land from individuals and companies. Reinforcements outside the dikes are not permitted, as Vestskelde is a Natura 2000 site. This made the design of the dike reinforcement more complex. In addition, the access roads in the project area must be completely redesigned and football pitches and the park zone in the Hansweert core must be reintegrated.

In order to significantly reduce the pressure from the transport traffic on the roads in the project area and the CO2 emissions, it was decided to transport the bulk materials (soil) as far as possible by waterway. “In addition, the realization provides the opportunity for low-emission construction, where electric cranes and other equipment must also be used. It is the first in Zeeland and we are in line with the government’s climate goals, says Philipp Keller.

Project area of ​​more than 5 kilometers

With a length of 5.2 kilometers, the project area is very extensive and also varied. Work will begin at the lock system and the Hansweert core. This requires a different way of dike reinforcement than in rural areas and therefore leads to higher costs. Because there are both interior and exterior buildings at the height of the Hansweert core, sheet pile constructions must be used here.

The design for the integration of the new flood protection system took place in an active process in consultation with residents and other stakeholders such as Reimerswaal and Kapelle municipalities. There are also many cables and pipes in the project area that need to be moved.


The action plan for the realization phase was presented at an informative general meeting on 6 July. The action plan has been submitted to the Flood Program, accompanied by an application for a subsidy for the realization costs. A decision on this will be made during August, after which a credit application will be submitted to the general meeting on 7 September. If a positive decision is made in this regard, the realization of the project will be awarded on 12 September, after which the work will start in the autumn of 2022. Completion of the dike improvement is planned for 2027.

The dike improvement in Hansweert is the first of a series of dike improvements that will be implemented between now and 2050 to also keep the Zeeland dikes safe in the future.

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