Published on 30 November 2021
Witteveen+Bos gets started on developing plan for Grebbedijk area development
On 13 October 2021, the Vallei en Veluwe Water Authority awarded Witteveen+Bos the contract for the plan development phase of the Grebbedijk area development project. Together with the Land-id firm, local government authorities, residents, and other stakeholders (including ‘dijkdenkers’, consisting of dyke users and others eager to contribute), we will be developing the preferred alternative into a concrete, integrated area development plan.
The Grebbedijk is a 5.5-kilometre-long dyke that protects the 250,000 inhabitants of the Gelderse Vallei area from high water levels in the Nederrijn river. The Vallei en Veluwe Water Authority is making use of this project to improve not only the dyke but also the area between Wageningen and Rhenen. The Grebbedijk, the Nederrijn, and the ‘uiterwaarden’ (artificial floodplains) together form a unique example of river nature. The Hoornwerk fortification and the Blauwe Kamer nature reserve are located here. One of the project’s goals is to use the area to improve the connection between the forest-rich Veluwe area and the Utrecht Hill Ridge. As well as its great ecological value, the area is also used for recreation. The national government’s programme for protecting against high water levels has also designated this project as a circularity pilot project.
The tender for this plan development contract took place in two stages. The first stage involved drafting a vision and putting a team together; the second stage consisted of drawing up an action plan, a dossier of risks and opportunities, and a budget. Initially, the contract was to be awarded the previous summer but this unfortunately had to be postponed. One of the other applicants did not agree with the decision and initiated a legal appeal. On 8 October, the court ruled the appeal to be unfounded, allowing the contract to be formally awarded to Witteveen+Bos.
The next steps
In the past few months, we have been working on a good analysis of the preferred alternative and on the start-up of the first studies. Meanwhile, the first soil survey is being carried out outside and we have a good overview of all the tasks we will be tackling in the coming months. In April 2022, we will start with the first design run.