Aerial view of the Maeslantkering in closed condition
The Storm Surge Barrier New Waterway formed the final piece of the Delta works. Thanks to the storm surge barrier, about one million people in South-Holland are protected from the sea. The Maeslant barrier is indispensable, in many ways. The barrier will probably become increasingly important to the protection of Rotterdam and its surroundings in the near future. The sea water is coming up more and more due to the rising of the sea level.

Bridge over the Nieuwe Maas
Rotterdam was not the only area that needed to be protected. The basin along the New Waterway and the New Maas also needed protection. The Maeslant barrier could not handle all of this by itself. Together with the Europort barrier and the Hartel barrier, the Maeslant barrier forms a line of defence for the whole area. The Europort barrier consists of a dike which runs from Rozenburg to the Maeslant barrier. In a south eastern direction, the dike ends near the Hartel barrier. The whole project, including the dike reinforcements cost 635 million Euros. This was 150 million Euros less than the alternative plan, in which all dikes in the area would have been reinforced and raised. Moreover, the Maeslant barrier was finished in 1997, whereas the dike reinforcement project would have taken an additional ten years of work.