The Delta Plan

Since before the Disaster of ’53, there are plans for the closure of the estuaries. The flood disaster, however, accelerates the planning and implementation. In 1955 the Delta Plan is on the table. Following the Delta Plan, the main sea holes in the southwest of the Netherlands are dammed. Only the open sea connections with Rotterdam and Antwerp must be maintained. In addition to increasing safety, an improvement in freshwater management is also an objective of the Delta Plan.

In 1957 the Delta law is adopted by Parliament. The implementation is quickly done: the Delta Works have begun.

The Delta Works

The Delta Works are one of the most famous works in the world. The Netherlands is more than half below sea level. For everyone’s safety, the Delta Works were built to prevent a recurrence of the 1953 flood disaster.

At Deltapark Neeltje Jans, you can relive history: from the flooding to the films about the construction of the Delta Works.

Exhibitions and films about the Delta Works
Exhibitions, films and an exclusive tour around the storm surge barrier give an impression of the enormous power of the water. The storm surge barrier is visited from all over the world because of its unique function.

Guided tour Storm surge barrier
Accompanied by an expert guide, it is possible to view the storm surge barrier from the outside. The guide will tell you about the origins of the Delta Works and let you experience the pillars of the storm surge barrier up close.

For more information, conditions and prices regarding guided tours, click here.

Start Implementation Delta Plan

Storm surge barrier Hollandse IJssel 1958

The implementation of the Delta Plan began by building a barrier in the Hollandsche IJssel, which is open to the sea via the Nieuwe Maas and Nieuwe Waterweg. The storm surge barrier, just east of Rotterdam, was completed in 1958 and protects the lowest part of the Netherlands – 6.5 metres below NAP – from flooding.

Zandkreek Dam 1960

Shortly after the completion of the storm surge barrier in the Hollandsche IJssel, the first estuary in Zeeland was closed by dams. The so-called ‘Three Island Plan’, dating from before 1953, provided two dams connecting the islands of Walcheren and North and South Beveland. In 1959, construction of the shortest dam in the Zandkreek between North and South Beveland began.
The Zandkreek Dam is 830 meters long, has a lock and was closed in 1960 with caissons.

Veerse Gat Dam 1961

The second dam, the Veerse Gat dam, connects Noord-Beveland with Walcheren. The first estuary in the delta area was completely sealed and saltwater became brackish. That’s how Zeeland got the Veerse Lake, which is now a busy recreational area.

Grevelingen Dam 1965

In 1958, the closing of the Grevelingen between Schouwen-Duiveland and Goeree-Overflakkee began. This dam is longer than the Zandkreek dam and the Veerse Gat dam, namely, six kilometres.

Volkerak Dam 1969

The Volkerak dam keeps the Hollandsch Diep and the Haringvliet separated from the southern delta waters. Construction of the dam began in 1957. It consists of several parts: a dam across the Hellegatsplaten to Goeree-Overflakkee, a dam on the Volkerak in the direction of North-Brabant, a road bridge over the Haringvliet to the Hoekse Waard and (at the junction of this combination) of Hellegatsplein.

Haringvliet dam 1971

The construction of the 4.5 kilometre-long Haringvlietdam between Goeree and Voorne lasted fourteen years. The dam should not only protect the surrounding area from high water levels but also ensure the disposal of excess Rhine and Maas water.

Brouwers Dam 1971

The seal of the 6.5-kilometre-wide and up to 30-meter deep estuary between Goeree and Schouwen was the dress rehearsal for the final part of the Delta Works: the Oosterschelde dam. On two plates in the Brouwershavense Gat, sand dams were sprayed, and the northern closing hole was closed with door caissons. In front of the southern closing hole, a cable car was reinstalled. The dam was completed by the end of 1971. Lake Grevelingen was born.

Due to changing environmental views, the plan to salt Lake Grevelingen was abandoned in later years. In 1981, a passageway in the dam was built to allow the passage of saltwater from the North Sea. This operation was a resounding success; Lake Grevelingen is now as salty as the North Sea, but (due to lack of current) clear again.

The Delta Plan

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Volgende show: 13:30 uur - Dolfijnenshow
On this moment: Actueel weerbeeld als pictogram 22 °C