Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Maasvlakte 2, Rotterdam Climate Proof, and Maeslantkering Projects

Today, we joined the Florida delegations to visit Rotterdam for a better understanding in Maasvlakte 2, Rotterdam Climate Proof, and Maeslantkering project.

It's time for a group photo in front of UNESCO-IHE.
(L to R: Dr. Yeh, Wendy, Michael, Dipesh, Robert, me, and Duncan)

Waiting to get on the tour bus.
(The Florida delegations)

Our first stop was Maasvlakte 2. Because of the heavy rain storm and rush hour, the roads to the Rotterdam were jammed. Therefore, we needed to take a ferry to get across the river. At first, I thought that we have to get out the bus and switch to the ferry; however, it wasn't like that. Instead, it was the BUS on the ferry. That's pretty interesting.

The bus was on the ferry to get across.

We finally arrived the Maasvlakte 2 after some hours. Maasvlakte 2 is an extension just off the current Maasvlakte and is being built in phase. The project plan is to reclaim about 2000 hectares (about 4950 acres) of land from the North Sea. This will increase the current port and industrial area by 20%, measured in hectares. The estimated sand required to compete the 2013 phase is about 240 million cubic meters of sand.

At this time, we can only vaugely see part of the outline; however, by 2013, it shall be competed the first major phase of the project and the new harbor shall be ready to use. This new construction make Rotterdam back to the World's busiest port. The size, the goals, and the complexity of this project make me exclaim.

Maasvlakte 2 Information Center.

The display.

What Maasvlakte will look like.

The project plans to reclaim the land highlighted in orange.

The next stop after Maasvlakte 2 was the Rotterdam Information Center. We received a presentation on "Rotterdam Climate Proof (RCP)" program. This is an adaptation program to anticipate on climate change. They are trying to make Rotterdam be "climate proof." The project has 3 branches: knowledge, action, and marketing. The primary action to be taken are the Waterplan 2 Rotterdam, green roofs, water plazas, floating city, etc. I, personally, quite like the green roofs and water plazas idea, which can engage the community and inhabitants into part of the project. We even stopped by the Rotterdam Library for its green roofs.

Rotterdam Climate Proof Presentation.

The green roofs.

The actual green roofs at the Rotterdam Library.

The last stop of the day is Maeslantkering, which is also the most exciting part of the day. Maeslantkering is a storm surge barrier gate and is the largest man-made moving structure. If I am asked to describe the Maeslantkering, it would be "innovative" and "massive." I am amazed by the details of this barrier. The length of its arm is the same height as the Eiffel Tower, but it has twice as many of steel; the ball joint diameter is 10 meter (about 32 feet); the barrier closes automatically when the computer detected the need; and much more.

Maeslantkering model.

The arms.

The one on the other side.

How small are humans...

Each weld took about 160 man-hours for those top-class welders.

The gate.

The truss pipe in real scale.

Today, I am completely impressed by the scale of the project, the innvoation, and the foresight on the future problems.

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