Storm surge barrier in Nieuwpoort, Belgium

To protect the Belgian coast and hinterland from heavy storm surges, Jan De Nul is building a new storm surge barrier in the coastal harbour of Nieuwpoort, together with partner Herbosch-Kiere.

One of the biggest threats to coastal ports is flooding due to heavy storms. Storm tides that occur once every decade, a 1000-year storm, a rise in sea levels by half a metre by 2100: this storm surge barrier is intended to guarantee the continued existence of Nieuwpoort.

A steel barrier that can cope with water levels up to 8 metres high

The storm surge barrier in Nieuwpoort has a free passage width of 38 metres. The steel barrier rotates between two cast iron shafts anchored in these concrete abutments. In parking position, the barrier will be deepened in this concrete threshold.

At high tide, the water level reaches 5 metres. Combined with a heavy storm, which occurs twice a year on average, this can rise to more than 6 metres. At that moment, the barrier is rotated 90 degrees, closing off access to the port. The barrier can even cope with a rise of up to 8 metres, but statistically this situation only occurs once every thousand years.

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