New By-Pass on IJssel River Officially Commissioned

After five years of construction, new 8 km long flood channel by-passing the Dutch river IJssel was officially commissioned today by Dutch Transport Minister, Melanie Schultz van Haegen, and the Chairman of Vallei and Veluwe Regional Water Authority, Tanja Klip-Martin.

The new by-pass is one of the last in a series of 30 projects of the national flood protection program Room for the River and is designed to lower the level of the river IJssel by 71 cm in case of extreme discharges.

Unique is the 800m wide inlet work with 62 adjustable openings. The project ended up costing EUR190 million and was realized by a consortium of two contractors, Boskalis and Van Hattum and Blankevoort.

The responsible water authorities, as well as the contractors, put a lot of effort in communication, trying to explain the necessity of the project and to anticipate on the nuisance from construction works.

In their communication the water authorities emphasized that the additional discharge is part of a national program to increase the flood safety for 4 million people that live along the main rivers that cross the Netherlands.

The Room for the River program started in 2005 and will cost EUR2.3 billion.

The final remaining large project is the widening of the mouth of the IJssel river. The project started in 2015 and is expected to be finished by 2022.