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The Netherlands: groundbreaking ceremony held for 'Room for the River' project

News // February 24, 2017

Dutch Water Sector reports that the Dutch public works department, the Rijkswaterstaat, and city of Nijmegen have started construction of a 3km long side channel next to the river Waal/Rhine.

Minister of infrastructure Melanie Schultz van Haegen attended the groundbreaking ceremony on 22 January 2017.

Construction of the side channel near Nijmegen is part of the 'Room of the River' programme that was initiated by the Dutch government in 2007 to implement over 30 measures to increase the discharge capacity of the Rhine river from 15,000 to 16,000 m3/s by 2015.

The Room for the river programme breaks the trend of raising river dikes. Higher dikes have the disadvantage that, in case of a flood, more water will flow into the land behind the dike causing more damage.

The project in Nijmegen entails relocating the dyke 350metres inland in order to widen the river bed. In this widened riverbed a 150-200m wide ancillary channel will be excavated.

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