Breakwaters Ostend

Herbosch-Kiere worked together with partners on the construction of two breakwaters at the entrance to the harbour in Ostend. The aim was not only to improve the accessibility of the harbour for vessels but mainly also to provide better protection against flooding for the Belgian seaside resort. We constructed two breakwaters in the sea which involved using a total of around 800,000 tons of stone. The western breakwater is 694 m long and the eastern breakwater 791 m.

We started by constructing the new harbour channel. The new channel was dredged to a depth of 8.5 metres below the lowest low tide to enable vessels with a maximum draught of up to 7.5 metres to enter the harbour.  After moving the navigation channel, we made a start on the construction of the western breakwater. The breakwaters were constructed by means of tidal work. Both the grab cranes and the enormous 60-ton dumpers could only be used from 2 hours after high tide until around 2 hours before the next high tide. That is why work was always carried out in two shifts. Every day, the breakwater grew a few metres deeper into the sea.

A walkway was also provided on top of the breakwaters with the same architectural design as Zeeheldenplein and the Albert I promenade so that they formed a single urban whole.

A few impressive quantities:

  • Fascine mattresses: 105,000 m² (= 16 football pitches)
  • Marine gravel: 140,000 tons (= 35 Olympic swimming pools)
  • Rockfill: 810,000 tons (= 200 Olympic swimming pools)
  • HARO blocks: 5100 pieces (26 times the height of the Eiffel tower when stacked on top of each other)
  • Project name

    Breakwaters Oostend
  • Location

  • Building period

  • Total value

    +/- 60 M€