To be prepared for more extreme high water in the future, the Ring Dyke in Amsterdam’s Watergraafsmeer district is in need of reinforcement. While the dyke is in fact high enough, it is not strong enough. The reinforcement will not be accomplished in a traditional way, but with so-called dyke stabilisers.
These stabilisers reinforce the dyke from the inside out and anchor the dyke to the soil. This allows the dyke to maintain its current form, without requiring widening or heightening, and ensures that trees atop the dyke need not be removed. This is the first time the technology is used in an actual primary dyke. It is likely that many weaker dykes in the Netherlands will benefit from soil nailing. That is why this innovation is financed in full by the national High Water Protection Programme (HWPP), which is to reinforce over 1,100 kilometres of dykes throughout the Netherlands in the coming years.
The Ring Dyke is situated at the south end of the Ringvaart ring canal in Amsterdam. The section between the Wibautstraat and the Middenweg requires reinforcement. After this dyke reinforcement, the Ring Dyke will be able to protect residents of the Watergraafsmeer district against extreme high water for years to come.
The dyke stabilisers, synthetic anchor elements, are drilled into the dyke at an angle where additional strength is required. The pressure in the system in the dyke is monitored twice a day by hooking up sensors to a mobile software platform via Vodafone’s NB-IoT data technology. A total of 700 stabilisers will be installed in the dyke. Installation takes place with relatively lightweight material and has less of an impact on the environment than the installation of dam walls or supportive embankments by means of pile-driving or vibration. This causes less inconvenience for the environment. The project, which is carried out by JLD Contracting by order of Waternet, will be completed in February 2019.
Working together to make the Netherlands safer
The execution of this innovative dyke reinforcement project is funded by the national High Water Protection Programme (HWPP), in which the Dutch Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management (Rijkswaterstaat, RWS) collaborates with the regional water authorities. In the years to come, the HWPP will be facing the challenge of completing the largest dike upgrade operation ever. Over 1,100 kilometres of dykes and 486 locks and pumping stations will have to be tackled before 2028 in 300 projects throughout the Netherlands: along the coast, the major rivers and lakes. The HWPP has earmarked €7.4 billion for this operation. Better, faster and cheaper ways to reinforce dykes are looked for constantly. This is done within project-transcending explorations (projectoverstijgende verkenningen, or POVs, in Dutch). Within the POV Macrostability, one of the POVs of the HWPP, market parties, knowledge institutions and governments examine and test solutions for the macrostability failure mechanism, such as new calculation methods and techniques, including dyke soil nailing and vacuum consolidation.