New lock and fish passage in Sint-Baafs-Vijve

29 Jul 2022

Soon more fish will again be swimming in the Leie river. Thanks to the new fish passage and the renovation of the weir building in Sint-Baafs-Vijve, co-designed by our Tractebel teams, both inland navigation and the fish population will receive a boost.

On assignment for ‘De Vlaamse Waterweg’, Tractebel teams designed the new fish passage and the new weir building at the old lock in Sint-Baafs-Vijve at an earlier stage. At this moment Tractebel is also providing support during the execution of the construction of the new fish passage and renovation of the weir. Several Tractebel teams, including ports & waterways, buildings and transport infrastructure teams, are working closely together to realize the project.

© De Vlaamse Waterweg


The design of this project was only possible thanks to the multidisciplinary collaboration of the different teams. During the design process it was very important to find a way to exchange the information efficiently because everyone works within his own domain. The IFC file format proved to be the key, so that clash detection within the different structures was also feasible”, according to Evy Boone, project manager of this project.


This project is part of the Seine-Scheldt project, in which Belgium and France work together to improve navigability on this waterway. The construction of the new lock in Sint-Baafs-Vijve was an important link in the realization of this project and contributes to the reliability of inland navigation. Thanks to the choice of a fish passage, the opportunity was also taken to tackle the fish migration problems at the nearby weir. Fish are constantly moving through a waterway in search of food, spawning and breeding grounds, wintering areas or new habitats. Weirs are therefore a major obstacle for fish because they form a physical obstacle and cause the water to flow too fast. The construction of the fish passage will allow the fish to zigzag through the passage which will contribute to an increase in the fish population on the Leie and even to the occurrence of new fish species.

© De Vlaamse Waterweg

Currently, the execution of the works is taking place in which Tractebel is involved for the follow-up of the works. At the beginning of 2022, the first concrete elements of the fish passage were already formed and poured on the shore in order to sink them in the right location. Furthermore, earlier this year half of the weir building was already renovated. The other half remained operational in order to be able to regulate the water management at all times. A few weeks ago, the first part of the new weir building was installed. Soon the overhauled weir elements will be hung back in place and it will be the turn of the other half of the weir and weir building. The remaining concrete elements will be placed in the autumn of 2022. The completion of the works is planned for June 2023.

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