At the beginning of the 21st century, the traffic jams around and through Eindhoven had increased to such an extent, that Rijkswaterstaat, the public administration in charge of the Dutch infrastruc­tures, launched a widening of the highway and the creation of a second parallel road to separate the local traffic from the transit one.

A key part of the project consisted of constructing 16 km of noise barriers in order to reduce the nuisance of the increased traffic. Significant level differences on some sections were overcome without loss of space with sheet piling retaining walls.

10 km of noise barrier wall

Mainly AZ 13 sheet piles were used, with lengths ranging from 2 to 14 m. They were driven with a light vibratory hammer ICE 7RF. In total, some 14,600 tons of steel sheet piles were installed for roughly a 10 km noise barrier wall. The final portion of this huge project was finished in 2011.

Dyke with a life span of 100 years

Unlike other materials used in retaining walls and deep foundations, steel sheet piles can be extracted from the ground at the end of the structure's life and be 100% recycled. Even at the end of the life cycle, steel retains its properties and can be recycled in an electric arc furnace, to produce new steel products of the same or even higher quality.

The reinforcement of the Gorinchem-Waardenburg dyke has a theoretical life span of 100 years. Since the corrosion of sheet piles embedded in the dyke body is minimal, the sheet piles can be extracted at the end of life of the dyke. Some removed sheet piles will even be reused in other projects, and the others will be fully recycled as raw material for the steel industry.

The Gorinchem-Waardenburg dyke reinforcement project is another great example of how ArcelorMittal sheet piles efficiently protect vulnerable locations from the risks of flooding. Our teams continue to develop innovative solutions, responding to the needs of all civil engineering actors (project owners, engineering firms, construction contractors), optimising costs, total steel weight, resource consumption and environmental impact.