Zandvoort Dark Fibers

Dark fibers under the sea floor

Five years ago, the need for a new marine cable between Zandvoort and Lowestoft arose. The original cable, laid in 1998, offered only 48 fibers, which was insufficient for the growing demand for connectivity. Increased demand for dark fibers accelerated the depletion of capacity. After extensive site investigations and obstacles, the project was able to start a year and a half ago, including neutralizing an unexploded World War II bomb.

Zeekabel Zandvoort VolkerWessels

The link between Zandvoort and Lowestoft

The project involves the installation of a sea cable link between the Netherlands and England. Currently, a ship carrying 4.5 kilometers of cable is moored off the coast of Zandvoort. Divers pull the cable to the beach via a winch. A similar process is taking place in England. The cables on both beaches are then connected to a 200-kilometer marine cable, which is pulled through the sea.

This project is complex because of the various steps performed by different parties, including international ones. The location on Zandvoort beach presents additional challenges. For example, the timing of the installation must be adjusted due to the breeding season of birds on the sandbanks off the coast. In addition, events such as the Formula 1 race must be taken into account.

Challenges and Collaboration

The directional drilling project between the manhole on the seawall and the beach will be carried out in December. The cable will be pulled from sea to land in late March. The kick-off takes place on Monday, but work is postponed due to bad weather, with wind force 6, snow and freezing temperatures preventing divers from entering the water. As a result, work must continue over the weekend to meet time constraints as the beach season begins April 1. The ship with the cable may only be at the shore for a short time due to high costs per day. In addition, ebb and flow and the wishes of beach pavilion owners who do not want drilling and digging around their property must be taken into account. A good understanding between all parties involved is essential and is being achieved, with crane operators receiving coffee and bitterballen from beach pavilion owners as a token of appreciation.