Suriname: DHV Restores Waterkant in Paramaribo

DHV Restores Waterkant in Paramaribo

Dutch engineering and consultancy firm DHV is restoring the Waterkant, the riverbank in the historic center of Paramaribo, the capital of Surinam.

The foreland of this UNESCO-protected part of the city is flooded a few times each year by 50 to 80 cm of water. Sheet pile retaining walls will be fitted in the Surinam River and various structures will be built. The first sheet pile was driven into the ground this month and the construction work will take roughly one year to complete. The total building contract is worth approximately €7 million.

Design and supervision of work

The site where the work will be carried out is directly adjacent to the government buildings and historic centre of Paramaribo. As a subconsultant of ILACO Suriname, DHV is responsible for the design and for overseeing the work in progress. “The ground in this area is very weak so this is something that needs to be carefully addressed when erecting structures“, says DHV geotechnical consultant Andries van Houwelingen.

Sheet piling against riverbank erosion

The stability of Fort Zeelandia, built by the Dutch in the early 17th century, is under threat because of riverbank erosion. DHV Project manager Grard Blankers said: “So it’s good that action is being taken now to protect this monument and museum from the water of the Surinam River.” In addition to the sheet pile retaining walls, the plan calls for the construction of brickwork stairs that enter the water. This will be a place where the ritual cleaning of the body can take place. The waterside will also be provided with facilities for passers-by and recreationists and with facilities for mooring government vessels.

Besides its flood protection work for the centre of Paramaribo, DHV is also involved in designing the flood defenses and hydraulic structures in the Commewijne district. The sheet pile retaining walls and mooring facilities near Nieuw Amsterdam have already been completed.


Dredging Today Staff, May 14, 2012; Image: DHV