Jan Deschagt, surveyor dredging works with Maritime Access Division:
“I survey the dredging works on the North Sea and in the river Scheldt. During dredging works in the harbour of Ostend we found explosives dating from the First and Second World War. For safety reasons we do not work with our customary trailing suction dredgers in such circumstances. We employ a Dipper Dredger which is a giant crane on a floating pontoon. This crane is fully armoured and has already dredged up explosives up to 1000 kg.”
Maritime Access Division manages and maintains all maritime approach routes to the Flemish ports: Ostend, Zeebrugge, Ghent and Antwerp.
The division provides a safe passage for vessels on the Scheldt, from the coast up to Antwerp by carrying out dredging and salvage works on the River Scheldt. This is always done in an environment-friendly way, e.g. by reusing dredging remains and ecological sanitation.
The division builds and maintains infrastructure allowing shipping traffic to access the ports, such as locks. It also helps financing other works in the port, including the construction of docks and the building of quaysides.
In the port areas, Maritime Access Division maintains the grounds and roads under control of the Flemish Authorities.