Ooltgensplaat - Goeree-Overflakkee is now also accessible by road. Central to the festivities Flakkeese farmer was Sieling, die 30 years fought to pull the island out of isolation. He finally got the funding round for the first private toll bridge from Netherlands.  

Sieling given a prominent place at the opening this morning by Minister Van Aartsen of Transport.

Minister van Aartsen sell the first toll ticket for the Haringvlietbrug a truck driver from Dongen. Foto: Eric Koch, National Archives / Anefo

Minister Van Aartsen went this morning personally a tenner from his wallet for toll ticket for the first truck would drive over the Haringvlietbrug. That money went to 72-year-old Sieling, the chairman of the board of NV Haringvliet Bridge Connection.

That money would be much needed as it turned out, because one of the press photographers through the roof of the toll fell through.


According to the minister, the opening of the largest bridge in the Netherlands (1.200 meter) an important step for the islands.

"With the completion of this bridge is the island community of Goeree-Overflakkee and Schouwen-Duiveland reached an important milestone and is an essential link completed, which will soon fit into the future road network. "

(Minister Van Aartsen, 20-07-1964)

Thus, the minister also pointed to the Grevelingendam which should be ready soon. The construction of the connection between Goeree-Overflakkee and Schouwen-Duiveland has accumulated in recent years delayed several times.

The first truck is about the Haringvlietbrug. Foto: Erik Koch, National Archives / Anefo

Van Aartsen were the residents' pride, they themselves have fought this bridge ", Once again, a reference to farmer Sieling.


The farmer began his crusade for a compound Hoekschewaard thirty years ago. The island was until now only accessible via a ferry between Middelharnis Hellevoetsluis.

Sieling managed it, supported by municipalities and county, that large insurance companies 50 million guilders wanted to borrow for the construction of the bridge.

Thus the bridge was much faster done with public money. The Empire had probably only in the 70s enough money available for the construction of the bridge.

After the opening of the bridge was also several times by the dignitaries' Long live Mr Sieling’ called.

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Where the official opening came very stiff, was last Friday at the unofficial opening lot looser. Then one procession to rolling with workers across the bridge.

The workers were angry that no one of the builders was invited to the official opening.

So they drove all their rolling stock in a large column first over the bridge. Front drove the man who had been most hours in his name. He could drive his car by himself tense ribbon.

Van Aartsen will explanation at the opening of the Haringvlietbrug. Foto: Eric Koch, National Archives / Anefo

road network

Minister Van Aartsen also said that the roads to and from the new bridge will be expanded in the coming years.

This year the section of road to be doubled on the bridge. And needs to be started from next year with the construction of highway 29 Rotterdam. That must come through Heinenoord at New Vaanweg in Rotterdam. There is also a new river crossing, probably a bridge, replacing the Barendrecht bridge.

In Brabant is also a link road, when the dam is completed in Volkerak.

A toll ticket now costs a passenger about 3 gulden 50. That money be paid to the cost of construction and maintenance. That is planned in appearance 1974 The bridge should be toll-free.

first accidents

But the development also has a downside turned out within half an hour. When the first accident at the Haringvlietbrug was a fact. A 55-year-old man from Middelharnis hit a 4-year-old girl with his moped that unexpectedly crossed the road.

The moped crashed and had to be transferred with a broken leg to a hospital in Rotterdam. The girl had only scrapes.

A few hours later there was another accident, but this time on the side Flakkeese. There crashed two cars together. One of the drivers did not notice that one of the roads since opening, a few hours earlier, had become a priority road. It was at this particular slap fender bender.

Hoe ging het verder?

the opening of the bridge entirely as expected, caused a large increase in traffic to Goeree-Overflakkee. And back course.

The traffic then it could be shown at the Barendrecht bridge. Especially since the swing bridge several times a day was open to shipping traffic. So there were already plans for a new crossing, but soon they had the idea to replace the bridge tunnel. The Heinenoordtunnel was 1969 opgeleverd.

The Volkerak Bridge (Now the A59) was also in 1969 opgeleverd.

The N59 is not known as a very safe way. In October 1965, just one year after the opening of the bridge, there are the first questions to the Provincial Executive of South Holland over 'insecurity about the Haringvlietbrug'.

at that time there already several big accidents happened since the bridge opened. Some of them were fatal. Especially the intersection Schaapsweg - Highway, the intersection at the height of Den Bommel, is very dangerous called.

And it would certainly not be the last time.


Het Vrije Volk - 20-07-1964 – Minister opens Haringvlietbrug

De Volkskrant - 21-07-1964 – Slow connection longest bridge

The Telegraph - 21-07-1964 – Biggest bridge into operation

Christian Dagblad - 14-10-1965 – Questions about hazardous situation Haringvlietbrug

Wikipedia – Bridge over the Oude Maas

Wikipedia – Haringvlietbrug

Author: Dave Datema

published: 20-07-1964

story number: 116

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