The condition of lighthouse ‘Lange Jaap’ in Den Helder is getting worse. In 2021, there was already a warning of a risk of collapse. A new inspection round has now revealed that three new cracks have appeared.
Some of the existing cracks are getting bigger and bigger, according to the report that was shared with the House of Representatives at the request of the Den Helder MP Harmen Krul (CDA).
22 cracks have now been designated as ‘critical’, writes NH Nieuws. Moisture and corrosion were also found in the structure. Moisture entered through the cracks. The consequences of the growing cracks are still being investigated.
Risk of collapse
The tower – which is actually called Kijkduin lighthouse but is known as Lange Jaap – has had cracks in the floors since 1998. Two years ago, an inspection showed that there are also cracks in the wall panels, which posed a risk of collapse. The area around the lighthouse was then cordoned off, including the adjacent Zeeweg. In fact, the structure is so unsafe that no repair work can be carried out, Rijkswaterstaat reports.
A drone survey last May showed that the area around the tower is safe to enter, and Zeeweg near the tower was reopened. Only in a storm of wind force 9 or heavier is the area no longer safe, the regional broadcaster wrote earlier.
In order to save the tower after all, experts and those involved have submitted fourteen ideas to Rijkswaterstaat. These are now being assessed.
The 63 meter high structure is the highest lighthouse in the Netherlands. In clear weather, the tower’s light is visible 54 kilometers away. The red building from 1877 has been a national monument since 1988.
- Lighthouse ‘Lange Jaap’ in Den Helder threatens to collapse, area closed
- Research with drone into the preservation of the ‘Lange Jaap’ lighthouse
- Rijkswaterstaat: cracks in lighthouse floor already known, in walls recently discovered