2021 - 2023


Regional water authority De Stichtse Rijnlanden and the municipality of Woerden





Water control and stress-free living guaranteed

The slow-moving Meije river runs through the rural settings of the Groene Hart area of the Netherlands, with its picturesque landscapes, meadows, rustic farms and homes. To keep the water in check in the future too, regional water authority Hoogheemraadschap De Stichtse Rijnlanden (HDSR) and the Woerden municipal authorities decided to have reinforcement and improvement work carried out on the Meijekade dike along the Meije river in the municipality Woerden. This flood barrier did not meet the current standards for the height and stability of dikes and embankments. There was also a lot of room for improvement on the Meijekade dike. The surface of the nearly five-kilometer-long road running on top of the dike was in poor condition.  

The project, which we took on as the Combinatie Peek Mourik vof consortium, involved a combined approach of dike and embankment reinforcement and road construction (specifically road resurfacing), as well as additional improvements to lighting and the public space along the Meije river, for example with wooden revetments and nature-friendly banks. This is all familiar territory for Mourik, but with a specific challenge: our client HDSR had made individual agreements with all residents along the Meijekade dike concerning the work that would have to be carried out on the residents’ own land. This meant that it was also up to us to ensure that these residents were satisfied too. 

Various solutions for embankment improvement and dike reinforcement

We took various measures to improve the embankment and reinforce the dike, depending on the height and stability of the flood barrier. On part of the Meijekade dike we raised the entire flood barrier, in some parts increasing the height by as much as 40cm, or constructed a double-layered, cascading embankment, with a low and narrower embankment on top of the existing dike. Along the rest of the dike (1.8 kilometers long), which was not sufficiently stable, we installed a steel sheet pile wall to add reinforcement. The finish of this reinforcing wall is special. Thanks to perforations in the wall capping, vegetation can pass through so that this steel structure will eventually blend in perfectly with the landscape. 

Installing the sheet pile wall was a project in itself. Many cables and pipes run under the Meijekade dike and under the water. But the question is, can you still rely on the original drawings after so many years? To prevent damage to the cables or pipes, we had depth measurements carried out along the entire route to determine the exact position and depth of the cables and pipes, and to “fold” the sheet pile wall around them, as it were. Before we could do that, we had extensive consultations with all stakeholders, including the grid operators, and included everyone in our plans. 

 Tailor-made solutions for local residents

The people living along Meijekade dike were a very important group of stakeholders. For many of them, they see the dike as part of their front yard, so to speak. No wonder that some were concerned about raising the dike and about the new sheet pile wall, which in some cases would even run right through their yard. How would that impact the view? Our client HDSR agreed with each affected resident on a solution tailored to them specifically. So, in effect we had 58 individual clients, and we did everything we could to satisfy each and every one of them. We raised and even redesigned yards, mounted wooden cladding on the sheet pile wall and had many conversations. We also continuously monitored satisfaction with the works via BouwApp, a special app that makes it easy to share updates on construction works with local residents and interested parties. We are increasingly making use of this app. We’re glad to say that the end result was happy faces all around. 

We’re truly in our element with these types of projects: a combination of design and implementation, with a lot of attention to stakeholder management, in a challenging location (a narrow dike with people living right alongside), and with several challenges that require smart solutions, like avoiding cables and pipes and the partial reuse of the old road structure for the new road so as to save on asphalt. Reusing construction materials was just one of the sustainability measures we took: for example, we also used recycled steel for the sheet pile wall and deployed Euro 6 and Stage V equipment or even zero-emission electrical equipment for the works. 



André de Waal

André de Waal

Directeur Regionale Projecten
Mourik Infra B.V. Voorstraat 67
2964 AJ Groot-Ammers

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