Veerse Gatdam

Veerse Gatdam (1958-1961)
The Veerse Gatdam, located at the estuary of the Veerse Gat, connects Walcheren with Noord-Beveland. The construction of the dam is tricky, because the currents are very strong. Both during ebb as well as flood, 70 million cubic metres of water streams through the relatively small space. That is why the choice to use “open let-through caissons” is made, each the size of a seven-storey apartment building.
First, the course for the dam is raised with sand in the 320-metre-wide gap. Then, a 100-metre-wide “pavement” of stones is put down on which the caissons can stand firmly. To protect this pavement from erosion due to the current and screw propellers from ships, a filter of multiple layers of variable sized rocks is applied.

Veerse Gatdam
Veerse Gatdam

Locks
Finally, the caissons are placed one by one. During the moment of placement, the caissons are open so the water can flow through unhindered. Right at the moment the current is minimal – when ebb transitions to flood – the locks in the caissons are let down, after which the dam can be finished.
First, sand and rocks are dumped onto the caissons, and finally a layer of tarmac. The Zandkreek is already closed at that point, thus establishing the Veerse Meer as a lake. In the 90s, sand is sprayed over the asphalt of the dam and marram grass is planted to make the dam look as much like a dune as possible. On the side of the Veerse Meer, there’s a road on the dam. On the North Sea side there’s an expansive beach.