Reinforcement of the Afsluitdijk

The Afsluitdijk is over 80 years old. All of this time the dam has protected our country from flooding. But the Afsluitdijk needs a significant face-lift. One unique aspect is that a little water is allowed to flow over the dam during a severe storm. This is why we call it an overflow-resistant dam.


What is it?

The Afsluitdijk will be reinforced over 80 years after its construction. This is required, because the cladding on the dam’s slope on the side of the Wadden Sea is no longer strong enough. For this reason, we will be replacing it with a cladding that is of sufficient strength. This cladding should also ensure that the water pounding against the dam during an extremely severe storm is slowed down. A little bit of water flowing over the dam will not present a problem. This is why we call it an overflow-resistant dam.

Reinforcement on the dam

If water flows over the dam, the cladding on top and on the inner slope of the dam must be able to withstand it. No holes should naturally occur in the grass cover. There is an optimum between the strength of the outer cladding and the cladding on the dam. We are therefore not exactly sure what the dam will look like. The contractor will use its knowledge to find this optimum.

Wave abatement

The amount of water that can flow over the dam can be limited by roughening the cladding on the outer slope. One example of a rough material is rubble. The waves are abated between the stones. We are currently investigating the roughness factor of different types of ‘cladding’.

Environmental quality

The Afsluitdijk is unique in the world and is therefore considered to be an ‘icon’. That is why we pay special attention to environmental quality. This preserves the austere lines that characterise the current dam.




This project is part of Rijkswaterstaat.