Fairway adjustment going according to plan
Since the end of October, a second hopper dredger the ‘Bonny River’ has been dredging the fairway on the federal stretch and taking the spoil to the UWA – underwater dredged material disposal site at Medemrinne. Built in 2018, the ‘Bonny River’ has a hold capacity of over 16,000 cubic metres; consequently having a highly efficient performance level.
Holding area and widening completed
The holding area near Brunsbüttel and the widening work on the WSV – federal waterways and shipping stretch are finished. With the widening from 300 to 320 metres from Wedel to down river from the mouth of the River Stör, ships with a combined width of 92 metres can now pass each other.
The holding area is designed for ships sailing tide-dependent that threaten to run out of the tidal window. At the holding area they can sit out the low tide phase. The holding area also serves as an emergency anchorage for large vessels that because of an incident have to leave the fairway, but have nowhere else to go. The traffic control centre responsible for the holding area came into service during November.
Fairway deepening and passing box being worked on
The hopper dredger ‘Scheldt River’ started completion work (deepening) at the beginning of October. The fairway on the federal WSV stretch will be deepened by an average of one metre. The UWA sites at Brokdorf, Medemrinne, Neufelder Sand and St. Margarethen are already completed, so that they can receive the spoil.
Now, the last of the UWA sites at Scheelenkuhlen is currently being set up. The surrounding wall has a length of approx. 2,600 metres. In total, some 878,000 tons of spoil mixture will be deposited here. This site has a capacity of approx. 1.7 million cubic metres for the spoil from Schwarztonnensand at the Lateral Elbe.
Firstly, the ‘Bonny River’ is preparing the WSV part of the passing box. This box has a width of 385 metres, facilitating oncoming traffic of up to four mega-containerships. This work will be completed by the end of the year, so that from the very start of the coming year, on this stretch shipping will feel the first benefit in passing traffic. However, the full benefits of the passing box’s complete use will not emerge until all dredging is finished in 2021.
Comprehensive ecological projects are part of the fairway adjustment too, with the federal government investing a total of 75 million euros. The earth-moving work in Lower Saxony on the island of Schwarztonnensand as well as on various polders on the River Stör in Schleswig-Holstein have been completed. The dredging work for the most extensive aquatic nature protection measures at Schwarztonnensand/Lateral Elbe, contracted out together with construction of the UWA Scheelenkuhlen, will start in spring 2020.
Overall, the fairway adjustment project is going according to plan, so that completion at the end of the coming year remains firmly in focus.
Source: Port of Hamburg