Optimisation of ice loads during renovation of Afsluitdijk

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Witteveen+Bos is an expert in the field of loads exerted by ice pressures on civil works. The company accumulated this expertise during the many projects it carried out in Kazakhstan, Russia and the Baltic States.

Hydraulic engineering structures in the Netherlands are also subject to loads caused by drifting ice. The standards and guidelines applicable in the Netherlands, such as ROK1.4, CUR166 and EAU2014, provide reference points that specify how to deal with this. However, clear directives with a direct link to loads that are physically capable of occurring are lacking.

Scenario Analysis

During renovation of the drainage complexes as part of the Afsluitdijk Reinforcement project - carried out under contract to the Directorate General for Public Works and Water Management (Rijkswaterstaat) - ice pressures formed a design challenge. The effective determination of actual normative ice loads resulted in designs for feasible structural reinforcements that fell within the requirements associated with the monumental character of the drainage facilities.

A scenario analysis was developed to ensure that the ice loads used as input for the design were linked to realistic interaction mechanisms. The scenario analysis was carried out under contract to the Levvel building consortium (BAM, Van Oord and Rebel) by Witteveen+Bos specialists, who form part of the integrated Levvel design teams. The analyses ultimately led to an optimised, substantiated, safe and suitable design. A similar approach in other hydraulic engineering projects in the Netherlands would result in significant optimisations there as well.

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