The planning approval authority at the Directorate-General for Waterways and Shipping (GDWS) at the Würzburg site issued the planning approval for the Danube expansion in the first section from Straubing to Deggendorf on 20th December. It covers both, the expansion of the Danube federal waterway and the expansion of the flood protection facilities for a 100-yearly flood on the approximately 38-kilometer long section between the Straubing barrage and the mouth of the Isar near Deggendorf.
Federal Minister Andreas Scheuer: “The Danube is one of the oldest trade routes in Europe. No other river in the world connects as many countries. With the planned expansion, we want to improve the conditions for shipping. Because one thing is clear: our rivers offer enormous potential as environmentally friendly modes of transport.”
The planning approval grants the project sponsors, the Federal Republic of Germany and the Free State of Bavaria, permission for the expansion of the waterway with river regulation measures (expansion and new construction of dykes, parallel works and river islands) as well as for the construction of 31 kilometres of new dykes, for the expansion of 14 kilometres of existing dykes and for the expansion and new construction of 14 pumping stations and five pumping points including the ecological compensation measures.
Bavaria’s Environment Minister Thorsten Glauber commented: “The construction measures between Straubing and Vilshofen are to be completed within the next 10 years. The Free State will invest several hundred million euros to protect the people in this region”.
For Bavaria’s Transport Minister Hans Reichhart, the planning approval for the first section of the Danube extension between Straubing and Deggendorf is a good signal for shipping in Bavaria. The Danube extension would relieve the burden on the A3 motorway running parallel and thus contribute to the shift of traffic to the inland waterway. Transport should be as environmentally friendly as possible for local residents and nature.
The preparatory measures can start as soon as in January, before the first construction phases are finally scheduled to start in early summer. The detailed construction schedule for the waterway extension and for the extension of the flood protection facilities in the individual areas will be presented to the public shortly by the representative of the project sponsors, RMD Wasserstraßen GmbH.
Meanwhile, the planning approval procedure for the Danube extension in the second section between Deggendorf and Vilshofen, which started in autumn 2018, is continuing. The discussion meetings are planned for next year.