Veerse Gat Dam

The problem

Veersegat Dam
Video: Veersegat Dam
The construction of the dam which was planned at the estuary of the ‘Veerse Gat’ and connect Walcheren to North-Beveland, would not be easy. The dam of Veere or the ‘Veerse Gat’ dam was built in 1961 to protect Walcheren, North-Beveland and South-Beveland against a potential disaster. What made the construction so complicated? Firstly, the ‘Veerse Gat’ was larger than the Sand Creek. Secondly, the current is strong during all tides. During both ebb and flood, about 70 million cubic metres of water would flow through the estuary. When the gap is closed with the same kind of caissons as used with the Sand Creek dam,
Concrete Phoenix Caisson is placed as part of the Veersegatdam.
Video: Caisson placement in "Veerse Gat"
the current would become too strong at the last moment. Obviously, the smaller the gap, the stronger the current, because the water is forced through a smaller space.

The solution

The solution was to use so-called ‘drain caissons’. In contrast to the uniform caissons of the Sand Creek dam, these caissons were open. Firstly, the section on which the dam would be placed, was raised with sand. Next, a ‘threshold’ of stones was built, on which the caissons could stand upon strongly. Finally, the caissons were placed one by one in the gap, which was 320 metres wide. At the moment of the placement, the caissons were still open, so that the water could flow through without being hindered.

The metal bar caissons are ready and waiting in the construction dock
Metal bar caissons
The slides of the caissons were not lowered until the current was minimal. When this task was complete, the dam could be finished. Since the Sand Creek had been closed, a new lake was formed: the lake of Veere. A lot would change in the lake of Veere, primarily because the water gradually became salty.