Schwalbeninsel restoration measures agreed


On July 3d experts from viadonau, National Park Donau-Auen and the engineering company RIOCOM and Blattfish sat together to discuss the progress of the technical planning of the restoration actions at the Schwalbeninsel island complex in Austria. The meeting was hosted by the experts of viadonau, the Austrian waterway operator and LIFE WILDisland project partner responsible for the implementation of the restoration works and RIOCOM is the company, which was selected to prepare the technical plans for the up-coming construction works.

The WILDisland project provides for the removal of about 2 km of embankment and lowering and adaptation of groynes on one of the most spectacular island complexes in the Donau-Auen National Park, Austria.

RIOCOM presented their current ideas for maximizing the expected outcome with a concrete proposal on the starting point of the embankment removal, as well as the suggested way to alter the existing waterway infrastructure to guarantee constant water flow separating the island from the bank, providing dynamic water regime and preventing future sedimentation processes, without compromising ship navigation even in low water level condition. Since the offered solution currently addresses the interests of both the nature conservation as well as the waterway managers, the WILDisland team agreed that RIOCOM will prepare the detailed hydrological models and techincal plans and calculations using this scenario and once the results are ready, we will meet again to discuss if adjustments are needed and the expected impact is greater than what would be acceptable for any of the stakeholders involved.

In parallel with the modelling, on-site sampling will start in September 2023 so that the company can obtain a clearer idea on the amount of rocks and the thickness of the embankment that needs to be removed in order to calculate the expected costs and advice the construction works.

Once the planning is complete at the end of the year, the documents will be submitted to the relevant authorities for approval, so that the construction works can start at the end of 2024.