Big mistakes have been made in deepening the Almelo-De Haanrik canal, where hundreds of houses have collapsed. The province had lost control of the project from the outset, says Stefan van Baars, professor at the University of Luxembourg. He is considered an authority in the field of geoengineering, the specialism that focuses on building in and on the ground.
Van Baars says to RTV Oost was dumbfounded, after having visited a large number of homes along the canal of Twente in December. “I have seen more damage there in one day than many experts have seen in his whole life.”
Van Baars did the research without interest and on his own initiative. “I didnt know the entire channel, but from my position as a professor, I find it my job to investigate problems in society.”
He hopes that his research report will examine the role of the province in more detail.
In a forty-page study, Van Baars is very critical of the province of Overijssel, owner of the canal and client for dredging the waterway. According to the professor, the invibrating sheet walls did not work in accordance with the official guidelines.
“ There is a trail of destruction caused by the work on the canal. The errors that have been made both in the design, execution and afterwards are huge. It can only be concluded that the province of Overijssel had completely lost its grip on the project from the outset.”
According to the professor, the county has “three hats on” in the file. Very resent, he thinks. “The province is the executor of the project, supervised the work, and when things went wrong, the province itself had independent damage investigations carried out, which it paid for itself.”
Van Baars is critical of the role of research firm Deltares. “The fact that a national institute such as Deltares has not managed to raise the bottom stone is as painful as worrying,” says Van Baars.
Province is going to study report
The province says in a comment: “We are always open to the opinions and findings of other experts. Thats why were going to study this report. It is still too early to make substantive statements about this.”