On Friday 3 October, the Dutch State Secretary for Transport and Water Management and the Queen’s Commissioner for the Province of Limburg presided over the official launch of the Border Meuse project, due to be one of the biggest river flood defence projects in the Netherlands.
The Border Meuse project encompasses a 43-km stretch of river between Maastricht and Roosteren in the province of Limburg. The flood defence works will be combined with the development of approximately a thousand hectares of nature conservation land, financed by proceeds from the sale of 53 million tonnes of gravel extracted from the river.
Once the Border Meuse project is finished, the villages located along the South Limburg stretch of the Meuse will have five times the protection against flooding that they now have. When the work is finished in 2017, the risk of flooding will drop from an average of once every 50 years to once every 250 years.
The river Meuse will be given more room by lowering its banks and floodplain, thereby widening the channel. The excavated soil will be used to fill in the gravel pits. The Border Meuse project will involve moving a total of 80 million tonnes of soil.
The project partners include Van Oord Nederland and other companies as well as the Netherlands Society for the Preservation of Nature, all united in the Consortium Grensmaas B.V. The Maaswerken organisation, part of the Department of Public Works and Water Management, will monitor the consortium’s compliance with its contractual obligations on behalf of the public authorities.
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