Bosch Beton - 330 meter lange zelfsluitende waterkering in  Spakenburg
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Self-closing flood barrier protects Spakenburg

A self-closing flood barrier constructed using Bosch Beton retaining wall specials is protecting the historic centre of Spakenburg from flooding.

Flood defence system with concrete retaining walls

Construction consortium Van Heteren, Jansen Venneboer and the Belgian company Aggeres Flood Solutions constructed the flood barrier in the historic centre of Spakenburg. Bosch Beton needed to develop a unique mould to match the chosen structure and the specific shape of the float. We produced an incredibly special U wall to safeguard the structure’s rigidity. The other quay walls were also made from Bosch Beton retaining walls. The retaining wall also provided the basis for the wall’s brickwork finish.

Van Heteren is well aware of our engineering and customisation specialisations and qualities as we already had a good relationship with this road and hydraulic engineering company. That’s why they decided to ask Bosch Beton to help with this complex flood defence system project.


A flood defence system can be needed in north-westerly force 11 storms that cause the water in the Eemmeer to surge into Spakenburg and run over the Oude Haven and the Nieuwe Haven quays. Now, the innovative and self-closing flood barrier activates automatically when water levels are high and, as the flood defence system is only visible at high water, the fishing village’s historic look has been retained. The floating flood defence system of 330 metres long was constructed in 2017.

The water helps

This innovative solution uses the help of the water itself. The sunken basin contains a floating retaining wall that rests on a 30-cm-wide float. There are openings on the water side. If the water reaches over 60 cm +NAP the gates open and the water can fill the basin. The retaining wall then floats upwards to protect the hinterland from flooding. Once the water level falls, the retaining wall falls with it.
>> View an explanation of the self-closing flood defence system here.

Annual test day

Waterschap Vallei en Veluwe Water tests the self-closing flood defence system in Spakenburg every year on the third Wednesday in September. The test attracts a lot of attention from passers-by, residents and other national and international interested parties. During the test, water board employees check that the system is working properly, the walls come straight up and there are no cracks or other defects, etc.

Read more

If you’d like to know more about this ingenious flood defence system read the article in De Ingenieur – Flexibele waterkering in Spakenburg

Further information

If you would like to know more about this project or our customised retaining wall solutions for water or special projects, please feel free to contact our consultants.