Published on 30 November 2021

Witteveen+Bos gets started on plan development for Grebbedijk area development

On 13 October 2021, Witteveen+Bos was awarded the contract for the plan development phase of the Grebbedijk area development by the Vallei en Veluwe Water Authority. Together with the Land-id firm, local government authorities, residents and other stakeholders (including ‘dijkdenkers’ – dyke users and others eager to contribute), we are going to develop the preferred alternative into a concrete integrated area development plan.

The area

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 can be found 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 High Water Protection Programme has also designated this project as a circularity pilot project.

Tender

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. The intention had been to award the contract last 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. 

What will we be doing in the coming period?

We will start by further developing the plans for the design process, the studies, and the collaboration with all stakeholders, among other things. At the same time, we will get started on various area studies: a geotechnical investigation, an explosives investigation, and a soil investigation. We will also start investigating how we can execute the dyke and area development works in the most circular way possible. From 2022, together with the local community, we will further develop the plans into a definitive area development plan that includes the decisions and design.

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