Sunday, September 21, 2008

Don't want "Excluses", want results !!!


Sorry for the bad joke as I don't think that any english speaker would be able to understand it, actually even not a native Spanish speaker will understand it at all, which was the language the joke came out first.

The weird title refers to a failed trip we did in The Netherlands to visit the famous "Storm surge barrier" a.k.a. as The Maeslant Barrier (http://www.keringhuis.nl/).

The route to get there is not so easy, according to our knowledge at the time, the barrier should had been in a place called Hoek van Holland, which is almost the right place, but alas, almost...
The real way to arrive there should be:

From Rotterdam:
A20 to Hoek van Holland. After Maassluis, take the Hoek van Holland exit. Follow the N220 to Hoek van Holland, take the exit on the left to the Maeslantkering. Follow the signs ‘Maeslantkering’.
From The Hague:
Follow the signs for Hoek van Holland. At the Hoek van Holland - Maassluis (N220), take the ‘Maeslantkering’ turn. Follow the signs ‘Maeslantkering’.

Once you follow the signs to Maeslantkering, you will find a building of the company DSM, after crossing the rails of the train, just turn left and you will see a long road, crowded with cyclists enjoying the nice weather (there are ALWAYS people on bikes around in The Netherlands). At the end of that road you will see the Barrier.

Inside of the visitors center it is possible to see a model of the Barrier. 
The model not only explains how the barrier works, also moves to show it.
Basically the idea is that the two moving parts (called gates or retaining walls) rest on the dock, close to the ground (down position). When the situation requires it (test drill or heavy storm), the gates rise form the ground and impulsed by the locomobile (the red box close to the water) they move into the channel.
Once the gates are in the middle of the channel, they are open, so that water fill their inside and lower them onto the channel ground. On this position the gates are only 2 meters above the water level, but this is enough to stop the storm.
They close off a wide of 360 meters, are 22 meters high and 210 meters long. The point of movement (ball joint) weights 680 tons and it is on a base which weights 52000 tons and is able to move with a 2 millimeters accuracy.
As you can see the weather was great, maybe the last good day of the Dutch summer, and the view from the elevated observation point was pretty nice.
In the last two pictures you can see the arm of the gate and also the joint. On the background a little boat is pulling one of the harbor's towers.


2 comments:

Sagha said...

Amazing, awesome, almost legen…dary :D I’d have liked to complete the trip last year. At least, now you are sure about the route, aren’t you? Have you done all the trip without killing any innocent bird with your car? :D :D

Anonymous said...

The bird was not innocent and was already death...

I am sure it deserved it !!!