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Dredging Safely in an UXO Suspicious Area

Dredging the Meuse River between the towns of Gennep and Grave seemed fairly straightforward when the project began in 2009. Deepening the Meuse would cause high water levels to drop by 25 centimeters. This work cleared so much material, that Martens en Van Oord decided to build its own aggregates classification plant in Moerdijk in which the 2.5 million cubic meters of sand and gravel excavated during this project could be processed into high-end aggregates for construction and industrial companies.

Unexploded Ordnance
Everything was going perfectly to plan until the dredging crew discovered that the bottom of the Meuse was home to quite a lot more unexploded WWII ordnance than expected. So Martens en Van Oord developed a plan for adjusting and securing the dredging process by converting the pontoon ‘Roeroord’ and adding extra security layers on, around and under it.

Unique Work Method
A unique new work method was born, in which the material removed from the riverbed was separated by a dynamic sieve based on particle size. The following step, the material is cleared of any possible unexploded ordnance using an electromagnet. Martens en Van Oord is certified for this new work method and is now authorised to dredge in UXO ‘suspicious’ areas.

Rewarded for Pioneering
We still benefit from the aggregates classification plant built for this project. The Sand Factory in Moerdijk ensures the correct particle composition for sand and gravel, so that Martens en Van Oord can reuse this material as a high-end raw material for the concrete and asphalt industry and other relevant customers.

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