The Maeslantkering is a storm surge barrier on the Nieuwe Waterweg, Netherlands, which is controlled by a supercomputer and closes if the city of Rotterdam is threatened by floods. It is part of the Delta Works and is one of largest moving structures on Earth, rivalling the Green Bank Telescope in the United States and the Bagger 288 excavator in Germany.
The construction of the Maeslantkering was a part of the Europoortkering project which, in turn, was the final stage of the Delta Works. The main objective of this Europoortkering-project was improving the safety against flooding of the Rotterdam harbour, of which the Europoort is an important part, and the surrounding towns and agricultural areas. This had to be carried out by the reinforcement of existing dikes as far as 50 kilometres inland. During the 1980s it became clear that this project would take at least 30 years and would cost a huge amount of money. It would also mean that historic town centres, sometimes built more than four centuries ago, had to be broken down and rebuilt behind renewed, larger dikes.
Copyright: CC 3.0