SPIE Nederland has been tasked with the mechanical renovation of five weirs on the Vallei Canal on behalf of the Vallei and Veluwe Water Board. With many of the densely populated country’s most built-up areas built on reclaimed land, there is no challenge more existential for the Netherlands than reliable water management.
In the Netherlands, Water Boards are responsible for the management of water systems and the monitoring the safety of residents against flooding. They ensure safe dikes and adequate clean water.
During an underwater inspection at various weirs in the Valleikanaal, it was discovered that several weir valves and pivot points were due for renovation and replacement. SPIE Nederland’s Business Unit in charge of mechanical infrastructure for bridges and locks seized this opportunity with both hands. With its expertise combined with years of experience with weirs, SPIE was a logical bidder for this type of contract, as the implementing teams will have to stay exactly, among other things, within the frameworks of environment and economic requirements. The environmental management plan and the deployment of a temporary flood defence were the decisive factors in the award of this renovation contract.
The five different weirs each present their own specific challenges. Frank Keetels, SPIE Account Manager: “Before I start a project, I always inspect the location. I examine the surroundings and take as many parameters as possible into account. I acknowledge all these aspects in the planning before entering into a dialogue with local residents to find a solution that works for everyone”. The weirs themselves also require a proper attention. A weir valve that needs to be renovated will have to be temporarily replaced. SPIE then installs a temporary barrier that can take over the flood defence function. The largest weir is eight meters wide; the smallest is four meters wide. The renovation by SPIE will ensure a solid solution for the next 25 years. The renovation of the weirs in the Vallei Canal will start in early April for completion around October 2020.