The Nieuwe Waterweg (“New Waterway”) is a ship canal in the Netherlands from Het Scheur, a branch of the Rhine- Meuse-Scheldt delta, west of the town of Maassluis to the North Sea at Hook of Holland. It is the artificial mouth of the river Rhine.
The Nieuwe Waterweg, which opened in 1872 and has a length of approximately 20.5 kilometres (12.7 miles), was constructed to keep the city and port of Rotterdam accessible to seafaring vessels as the natural Meuse-Rhine branches silted up. The Waterway is a busy shipping route since it is the primary access to the Europoort of Rotterdam. At the entrance to the sea, a flood protection system called Maeslantkering was installed in 1997.
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