Last week, the first bulldozers are driving around on an island in the North Sea, which will grow to become Maasvlakte 2. In the past few weeks, so much sand has been sprayed on that various islands have been created, which also remain sufficiently above water during high tide. Maasvlakte 2 will be 5 m above the sea level (Amsterdam Ordnance Datum). That is higher than the dredging vessels can spray on the sand (‘rainbowing’), so from now on the sand is also being pumped to the island via pipelines from the trailing suction dredgers (‘pumping ashore’). Bulldozers then make sure that the sand is distributed correctly.
Reaching this new milestone means that the project is well on schedule. In 2010, construction work on the quay for the first container terminal will start here. If all goes according to plan, the first ship will dock here in 2013. At the moment, four to six trailing suction dredgers belonging to the contracting consortium PUMA (Boskalis and Van Oord) are operating continuously. You can get a good view of the work from the information centre ‘FutureLand’ on the edge of the existing Maasvlakte.