On the Noordereiland in the centre of Rotterdam, The Port of Rotterdam Authority is going to renovate 500 metres of quayside on the Maas quay. In December 2015, around 40 metres of it subsided. Investigations revealed that not only the section where the subsidence occurred needed to be repaired, because the quay no longer meets current technical requirements. The original quay dates back to 1892.
Replacing 500 metres of quay is a good solution. Also for the liveability of the residents and businesses on the Noordereiland, because it considerably reduces the chance of flooding.”
— Ronald Paul, Chief Operations Officer at the Port Authority
According to statistics from the Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management, on average the Noordereiland gets flooded once a year. The island is in an area outside the dykes. Legally speaking, the risk of flooding and any potential consequences are the responsibility of the residents and businesses themselves. However, the Port Authority sees the construction of the 500-metre-long new quay as a chance to reduce the risk of flooding for the inhabitants and businesses and to invest in the living environment. The quay is currently between de New Amsterdam Water Level (NAP) +2.55 and +2.7 metres high. It will be increased to NAP +3 metres. Increasing the height of the current quay will reduce the risk of the Maas quay flooding to once in ten years.
The Port Authority conducted research in 2016 and 2017 into the cause of the subsided section of quay and into the structural status of buildings in the area. The latter was to gain a good insight into the vulnerability of the buildings, so that this can be taken into account during the construction works. This research showed that the structural status of the buildings is often unknown. The Port Authority will not be taking any risks and will adjust the construction methods, together with the contractor yet to be selected.
The Port Authority started on the design of a new quay in 2016. The initial design for a new quay wall did not satisfy the Municipality of Rotterdam’s buildings aesthetics committee requirements regarding retaining the original look. The Port Authority has produced a new design that satisfies the municipality’s requirements and the relevant safety standards.
The berthing function of the Maas quay will continue. As the current depth in front of the quay varies from NAP -2.5 to -5 metres, this is only suitable for inland vessels with a draught varying between 0.8 and 3.3 metres. This means that the berthing possibilities for inland shipping are restricted.
The original planned new depth was NAP - 5.2 metres, suitable for vessels with a draught of 3.5 metres. However, following investigation into the foundations of buildings on the Maas quay, it has become apparent that a deep quay is not desirable. A decision has therefore been taken to construct a uniform, smaller depth along the Maas quay of NAP 3.65 metres. This guarantees the berth for vessels with a draught of 1.9 metres.
From the start of the construction works, the Maas quay will no longer be available for berthing. The Port Authority aims to realise the construction of the quay section prior to the construction worker’s holiday in 2019. Dredging work will then take place on the Maas quay. The berthing function will be available again from October 2019, depending on the final schedule of the contractor yet to be selected. Until that time, the work area on the water will be indicated with buoyage.
Discussions and agreements with the municipality regarding phasing, parking, waste water and the look of the new quay have been concluded. The Port Authority aims to start constructing the Maas quay section after the 2018 construction workers’ holiday and applied for an environmental permit (construction) from the Municipality of Rotterdam in late March.
The municipality generally takes decisions about such applications within eight weeks. Interested parties may lodge an objection during a six-week period. An objection could result in a later start of the construction works. The documentation for the permit application can be inspected via the municipality. More information about the permit procedure is available at www.rotterdam.nl/loket/omgevingsvergunning-bouwen.
Minimising construction hindrance
The construction of the Maas quay section is taking place in one phase. As the new quay wall is being raised to NAP +3 metres, the Port Authority is installing new rainwater drainage. This is because the water will no longer naturally flow over the quay into the Maas. Once construction is complete, the existing paving will be re-laid.
The Port Authority aims to minimise the hindrance to local residents as far as possible during the Maas quay construction works. However, we are unable to totally prevent inconvenience during construction. The contractor yet to be selected will be tasked by the Port Authority with taking measures to minimise hindrance resulting from noise and vibrations, lighting, dirt and dust, focus on preserving trees, a safe construction site and the accessibility of roads, footpaths, parking spaces and buildings.
An explanation of the proposed measures can be found here.
The Port Authority is working according the following schedule:
• Tender period: April - June 2018
• Start of construction works: after the 2018 construction workers’ holiday
• Realisation of the new quay section: after the 2019 construction workers’ holiday
Residents, companies and other interested parties will be kept up to date including through information evenings, door-to-door letters and email. A digital newsletter will be published during the construction works. If you would like to receive this newsletter, please register via firstname.lastname@example.org mentioning the Maas quay project and stating your contact details.
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