Rijkswaterstaat awards Afsluitdijk project to Levvel consortium
Rijkswaterstaat (part of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment and responsible for the design, construction, management and maintenance of the main infrastructure facilities in the Netherlands) has awarded the Afsluitdijk project to the Levvel consortium. This joint venture is formed by Van Oord Aberdeen Infrastructure Partners B.V. (46%), BAM PPP PGGM Infrastructure Coöperatie U.A. (46%) and RebelValley B.V. (8%). Levvel will be responsible for design, build, finance and 25 years maintenance of the strengthened Afsluitdijk. Construction works are expected to start in the autumn of 2018. In 2023, works on the Afsluitdijk will be completed. The net present value of the project is approximately EUR 550 million.
Levvel has based its tender on managing risks, using opportunities, sustainability (sustainable construction and energy neutral) and smart use of proven technology. After the Afsluitdijk has been reinforced, it can withstand a storm which happens once in every ten thousand years. At the same time, the drainage capacity, which now consists solely of natural flow, will be expanded with new pumps. Levvel’s discharge solution consumes as little energy as possible: ‘Natural discharge if possible, pumping if necessary.’ This way, in the future, sufficient water can be drained from the IJsselmeer to the Wadden Sea in all weather conditions.
For the construction of the new pumps and the extra discharge capacity, the existing monumental 'Spuisluizen' (drainage locks) in Den Oever remain completely intact and they will be renovated. Levvel strengthens the dyke with innovative concrete elements. The innovative character of the project is also shown in the application of a floodgate of fiber-reinforced plastic in the fish migration river. In addition, the highway A7 will become safer by widening the emergency lanes. The design of Levvel pays attention to recreation and ecology, through construction of a cycle path on the Wadden Sea side along the entire length of the Afsluitdijk, ecological facilities along the dyke and fish-friendly pumps.
The Afsluitdijk has been an example of Dutch marine engineering for decades. The 32 kilometre long dam protect large parts of the Netherlands since 1932 against flooding from the Wadden Sea and the IJsselmeer. After more than 85 years, the dyke is in need of renewal. Rijkswaterstaat strengthens the dyke, increases the discharge capacity and build pumps to transport more water to the Wadden Sea. On behalf of local governments, working together under the name De Nieuwe Afsluitdijk (The New Afsluitdijk), regional ambitions are also being implemented, including the denomination for a fish migration river and a bicycle path on the Wadden Sea side. Today's civil engineers are building on the legacy of Lely in a contemporary way while retaining the unique qualities: the Afsluitdijk will enter the 21st century as a new icon for Dutch marine engineering.
The Levvel consortium consists of Van Oord (with Aberdeen/APG), BAM (with PGGM) and Rebel. The name Levvel is based on the Dutch abbreviation for "Lely's Heritage Secured" in palindrome. In addition, the name refers to the water level management of the IJsselmeer and the turning of high water, two important functions of the Afsluitdijk.