Heijmans and GMB, working as the Waddenkwartier construction consortium, are set to start work on the reinforcement of the Groningen section of the Lauwersmeer dyke. The construction firms were awarded the work by the Noorderzijlvest Water Board. The construction phase represents a value of just over € 90 million, with Heijmans share amounting to 75% of this.
Lauwersmeerdijk is familiar territory for Heijmans, as the company completed the reinforcement of the Frisian section of the dyke in 2020.
In 2020, the Waddenkwartier construction consortium and the Water Board made a start on the task of reinforcing the Groningen section of the dyke. The consortium was involved in the early planning phase of this dyke improvement project. The first work will start in April of this year and the dyke reinforcement should be fully completed by 2026.
The dyke reinforcement will also include several connecting projects, such as those for nature, traffic and recreation. On the traffic and recreation fronts, this involves a second access road to the port of Lauwersoog. It also involves maintenance on the Western Harbour Dam (Westelijke Havendam).
On the nature front, this involves creating a natural transition with artificial reefs, a dyke passage and a transition area, plus the construction of a natural salt marsh. This means the consortium will simultaneously work on improving biodiversity on and around the dyke. In addition, the consortium will use emission-free equipment during the construction phase and various materials from the dyke will be reused.
Thanks to these efforts, Minister Rob Jetten recently cited this project as an example of a 'truly sustainable dyke reinforcement'.
The Lauwersmeer dyke has protected the Lauwersmeer area and parts of the Groningen and Frisian hinterland from flooding for more than 50 years. However, nine kilometres of the Lauwersmeer dyke, from the R.J. Cleveringsluizen locks to the Westpolder, no longer meet water safety standards. The water board is improving this sea dyke to make sure the hinterland is properly protected from flooding for at least another 50 years.
The reinforcement is part of the Dutch government’s national High Water Protection Programme: the largest dyke reinforcement operation since the Delta Works.