file under: Europe, Germany, Water

Flood Protection on the Rhine

Dike Relocation and Dike Rehabilitation on the Muendelheimer Rhine Arch

The district of Duisburg-Muendelheim is located in a large arch of the Rhine River. The Ministry of Environment and Conservation, Agriculture and Consumer Protection of North Rhine-Westphalia (MUNLV) determined that there was a need for rehabilitation of the dike flood protection in this area. Under the requirements of modern technical flood protection, the dike was considered insufficient with regard to its stability and its low height. In addition, there was no dike defence path. In 1990 a general plan “Flood Protection in the Lower Rhine” was prepared on behalf of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. In this study, a total of 15 polder areas were defined, which were designated as flood plains that could be reactivated. One of these polders was designated in the area of the Rhine arch Muendelheim. In order to provide additional retention area, the possibility of relocating the existing dike was considered in the course of the approval management. The city of Duisburg decided to take this step for a total of around €50 million, of which approx. €20 million are for the flood protection, the rehabilitation of the dike section in the Muendelheim Rhine arch, as well as dike relocation.

The flood protection improvements will be implemented by a combination of a clad sheet piling on the existing dike crown (length 500 metres) and a three-zone dike with a dike defence path along the landside of the berm. During construction 4.7 kilometres (km) of earth dike will be rehabilitated along the existing route, and a 1.5 km section of relocated dike with an underlying cut-off wall will be constructed. Through the relocation of the dike a new uncontrolled flood polder approximately 60 hectares in size will be created, but this area will still be available for use as agricultural land. An important part of construction is the relocation and elevation of part of the highway B288. Following completion the flood situation and the outflow of flood waters will be improved significantly.

CDM Smith has supported the client in this project from the beginning in the fields of structural design and landscape planning. After an extensive investigation of the possible path options in 2004, we submitted a preliminary design for approval. The interests of adjacent municipalities and the needs of local residents and the boundary conditions of sensitive supply and waste lines, were all considered. CDM Smith developed a balanced compromise between the dike rehabilitation and the need for the creation of an additional retention area. Following planning approval in 2008, CDM Smith developed the final design. Construction will begin in 2011.