BRIELLE - The Brielse Maas is no more. The pontoon was in place at a quarter to two this afternoon, as a result of which the Brielse Maas has suddenly become the Brielse Meer. This is a major step against the salinization of the area.

And it was like Mother Nature was playing with it. In the course of the morning the east wind rose, which made maneuvering a lot more difficult. The pontoon was thereby pushed towards the sea. “It's like the worst wind, we can have ”, the chief executor grumbled to a reporter from Het Vrije Volk.

But the six tugs got, with united strength, it 3300 ton heavy pontoon always millimeter by millimeter closer to the desired location, the only hole left in the 1900 meter long Brielse Maasdam.

Work for the construction of the Brielse Maasdam. Foto: Regional Archive of Voorne Putten

The operation started around ten this morning. An hour after the start, the pontoon was in the middle of the "Hellegat", where the current was strongest. Then the pontoon was turned against the current, so that it lay right.

When one of the workers held up a red, white and blue flag, the large audience understood what was going on: the job was done.

“Hats and caps go off, engineers and authorities shake hands and then all listen silently, silent to the dozens of tugboat sirens, those in a raw, but then a moving beautiful concert proclaim the glory of hydraulic engineering Netherlands. The people on Voorne, Putten and Rozenburg hear the triumph of this day. ”

(Het Vrije Volk, 04-07-1950)

One of the dyke workers sees the humor in it. "So now those Geuzen can no longer take Den Briel", a reporter from Het Vrije Volk hears.

Onderzoek

A lot of research has preceded the job. For example, the Waterloopkundig Laboratorium in Delft has used a miniature pontoon to investigate exactly how the pontoon would react with certain currents..

Professor Thijssen was satisfied with how his work turned out in practice. In the end, even the wind did not spoil the game.



Fight against the salt water

The construction of Brielse Maasdam was necessary to combat salt water from the sea. Certainly due to the construction of the Maasvlakte, the salty seawater can flow upstream into the river at high tide, but it is difficult to find its way back to the sea. That was disastrous for agriculture- and livestock areas in Voorne, Wells and the Island of Rozenburg.

The seawater also ensures that the chlorine content in the ditches in the west of our country increases further.

Last year an amount of 6,5 million guilders for the fight against the overriding salt water.

Aerial photo of the works to dam the Brielse Maas. Foto: Regional archive Voorne-Putten

The Brielse Maas is now an inland lake with an area of 775 hectare (spacious 1500 soccer fields). The water is still salty now, but will gradually become sweet. However, further measures are being taken for this, such as the construction of inlet- and exhaust lice.


Sources:

Algemeen Handelsblad – 03-07-1950 – Brielse Maas has been dammed

Het Vrije Volk – The gap at Oostvoorne is closed!