Today, via donau is a forerunner in ecologically oriented river engineering on navigable rivers and, as it has implemented numerous pilot projects in the past years, possesses the necessary experience and competence to improve ecological conditions, which it now contributes to the Integrated River Engineering Project.
Two further pilot projects were and are being implemented in the preparation phase of the Integrated River Engineering Project:
- Pilot project Bad Deutsch-Altenburg
The project area of the pilot project in Bad Deutsch-Altenburg (PP BDA) is located about 35 km east of Vienna and ranges from approximately river kilometre 1887.5 to 1884.5. The aim of the project is to test the river engineering measures which are planned to be implemented on the whole Danube section between the Freudenau power plant and the Austrian-Slovakian national border. In the approximately 3-km-long project section, all measures – removal of bank armouring, lowering of the river bank, reconnection of side arms, optimisation of low water regulation and granulometric riverbed improvement to stabilise the riverbed – will be implemented jointly for the first time. The project not only serves to test river engineering measures and construction operations but also to develop and test the required technical and ecological evaluation procedures. Therefore, the project is also of major significance in terms of monitoring.
- Pilot project Witzelsdorf
In addition to the pilot project in Bad Deutsch-Altenburg, another pilot project for the river bank re-naturalisation and simultaneous optimisation of low water regulation has been realised at Witzelsdorf (between river kilometres 1893.4 and 1891.7). On a length of about 1.7 km, the Danube bank was restored to its natural condition. The eight existing groynes were removed and replaced by only four regulation structures. The shape and position of the new groynes were optimised in accordance with ecological and nautical criteria. The construction activities were implemented from November 2007 to May 2009.