The Measlant Barrier and other Dutch infra from the air
Measlant kering Travel Blog› entry 664 of 1090 › view all entries
At the 31st of January 1953 a huge storm hit the Netherlands, Belgium, and England. Besides the storm it also happened to be spring tide. These two occurrences together caused the North Sea's level to rise by almost 6 meters (18 ft) above its normal level, flooding major parts of the province of Zeeland. Many humans and animals lost their lives and a lot of damage was caused. The government decided that a disaster like the 1953 North Sea Flood should never happen again.
An ambitious project was initiated less than a month after the actual disaster. A commission, the Delta Commission, was appointed and given the task to work on a plan, that had already been prototyped before the disaster. The Delta Plan comprised a way to shorten the coastal line of the Netherlands by 700 kilometers (435 miles) by raising the height of dikes, dams, and constructing storm surge barriers.
The Maeslant Barrier, the youngest major part of the Delta Works can be found in the entrance canal for the Rotterdam Harbor. It consists of two huge doors that be closed to protect the land behind them. Each door has a length of 237 meter (777 ft), the size (and shape) of a small Eiffel Tower (300 meter / 984 ft). The Maeslant Barrier is, together with the Bagger 288 excavator in Germany and the Green Bank Telescope in the USA, believed to be the tallest moving structure on earth.
During my flight from Paris to Amsterdam I was feasted on an almost cloudless sky. Unlike when flying directly to Amsterdam this flight had a significant leg in Dutch airspace. We entered in the south in Zeeland all the way to the north. The views from the plane were great. And the Delta Works, including the Maeslant Barrier, could be very well spotted. It gave me stunning views on Zeeland, the Oosterschelde Barrier, the Zeeland Bridge, the Maasvlakte, and, of course the Maeslant Barrier.
More pictures below! And see here for the official website of the Maeslant Barrier.