Government of Flanders starts work on flood channels

24 June 2019 - Published by Lisa Simone de Grunt

De Vlaamse Waterweg nv will start the excavation of a flood channel on Monday 24 June 2019. The first works on the flood channel are starting faster due to a midge infestation in Wijmeers.

The first step is to excavate a first flood channel in the managed realignment site of Wijmeers. Historic dredging works, in combination with sea level rise, result in an increase in tidal dynamics, which in turn could lead to an increase in suspended particle matter. The excavated flood channel creates more space for the river, hence dispersing the tidal dynamics over the managed realignment site and locally decreasing the tidal range in the Scheldt. Furthermore, the dynamics in the managed realignment site increase. This will enable the flood channel to remain sustainable through self-dredging and consequently rejuvenating the tidal area. Larvae of the biting midge will also be flushed away by these increased dynamics, thus solving the current infestation at the same time.

The excavations will take several weeks and will be completed before the construction holiday in July. During a second phase next year, a much bigger flood channel will be added to the managed realignment site of Wijmeers. These works are co-financed by Europe through the INTERREG North-Sea Region Immerse project.