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Innovation in dike reinforcement: Van Oord and GMB install dike pin

Rotterdam / Opheusden, the Netherlands, 19 October 2016 – Van Oord and GMB use innovative dike pins for the first time on a dike compartment between Hagestein and Opheusden in the Netherlands. The great advantage of this dike reinforcement technique is that it can be used in places where working space is limited. The client, Rivierenland Water Board, is embracing this new method for use in the Hagestein-Opheusden Dike Improvement Project.

Dike pins are steel anchor rods encased in cement. They are inserted into the underlying layer of sand and prevent the possibility of the dike collapsing during floods. Installing the pins is an effective way of making dikes safer. When working space is limited, e.g. by houses and vegetation, the problem can be solved by using this innovation. The dike pins are installed completely inside the existing dike profile, so that it is not necessary to interfere with the crown or the foot of the dike. During the work, the surrounding area suffers much less disruption than with the traditional installation of sheet piling or soil replenishment, while still being kept safe from flooding. This innovative method of dike reinforcement is the result of close cooperation between Van Oord, GMB, BAM Speciale Technieken and RoyalHaskoningDHV. The innovation has been further improved on the back of a number of tests and pilot projects.

According to Johan Bakker, Director of Innovation at Rivierenland Water Board: ‘Innovation succeeds more often than not. That is also the case here. To keep the Netherlands safe and to keep safety affordable, we – in a joint effort – have to pull out all the stops.’

Safety, consideration for local residents, and their environment, creativity and boldness are important issues for us when we take on and carry out projects. The dike pin is a shining example of marine ingenuity. We are looking forward to using this innovation in future projects.

Carlos Mollet, Area Manager Van Oord Netherlands
Carlos Mollet, Area Manager Van Oord Netherlands

Edwin van der Poel, Managing Director of GMB’s flood prevention and construction division, says: ‘Dike pins are a simple and environmentally friendly way for us to reinforce dikes. Their modular structure means they can be extended in future. We use this valuable innovation in order to work considerately and safely on projects within the Flood Protection Programme.’

Dike improvement on the Hagestein – Opheusden (HOP) section

HOP dike improvement scheme – client: Rivierenland Water Board – involves reinforcing about 18 km of dike spread over two dike rings, ten work areas and five municipalities. The first and last work areas are 40 km apart on the southern bank of the Lower Rhine and Lek. Throughout the project, the main contractors Van Oord and GMB will be meeting the most important contract requirements: to reinforce the dike safely and with the minimum of inconvenience. The Hagestein – Opheusden dike improvement scheme is one of the projects in the Room for the River national programme. In this programme, regional authorities and the Dutch government work together to improve flood protection in river areas. This provides more room for the river. At the same time, work is being done to improve spatial quality to ensure that the economy, environment and landscape of river areas benefit from the project. If you would like more information, please visit

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