Minister Schultz at reinforced Hondsbossche and Pettemer Sea Walls: the coast is safe again

Now that the Hondsbossche and Pettemer Sea Walls have been strengthened, the Dutch coast is safe again. This is what Minister Schultz van Haegen (Infrastructure and the Environment) stated today upon the completion of the last “Weak Link” in the list of ten coastal locations to be reinforced. Within a year’s time, more than 400 soccer fields of new land have been created here.

Minister Schultz:  ‘The coastal defence of the provinces of Noord-Holland and Zuid-Holland will be up to standard again for the next fifty years. Ten million citizens in the Randstad conurbation will be safe, thanks to these projects. And a significant section of our economic driving force will be better protected.’ The coast of Noord-Holland and Zuid-Holland can now withstand the most severe gales that occur at an average rate of once every 10,000 years. In addition, the widened beach and the new dunes offer plenty of opportunities for recreation and natural development. Thus, the area will become both safer and more beautiful.

Kust op Kracht

Over the past few years, Rijkswaterstaat, the Hollands Noorderkwartier District Water Board and the province of Noord-Holland have been working together on strengthening the sea wall, under the motto of “Kust op Kracht” (Reinforcing our Coast). Together with local residents, entrepreneurs and other stakeholders, they have explored the best way to strengthen the coast. Beach nourishment – rather than, for example, reinforcing or raising the existing sea wall – will yield more opportunities for recreation, tourism, nature and the economy.

Beach nourishment

The project comprises a stretch of some 8 kilometres. The 35 million cubic metres of sand that have been sprayed on the beach have shifted the coastline some 300 metres towards the sea. Two-thirds of the sand that has been brought in lie below the sea. The coastal reinforcement project commenced in March 2014. Clever planning and good collaboration enabled us to complete the work within a year, i.e., nearly six months ahead of time. The overall costs of the project, including its maintenance in the twenty years ahead, amount to 230 million euros. This means that the project has remained well within its budget.