Friday, 20 Sep 2019
D–O–E route - Olomouc Region – junction of European waterways PDF Print E-mail
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D–O–E route
First kilometers to run through Slovakia or Austria
The South Moravian Region – base of the Czech water transport development
Zlín Region offers virtually ready stretches of the waterway
Olomouc Region – junction of European waterways
Moravian Silesian Region - Tradition and future
Through Poland to the navigable Oder
The waterway corridor in Pardubice Region – a serious designing challenge
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Olomouc Region – Junction of European waterways

Olomoucký krajThe territory of the Olomouc Region will bear the constituent part of the third stage of the D-O-E water corridor, including the exit branch to the Danube and Oder watershed. The nodal point from which in future waterways should run in three different directions – to the Danube, Oder and Elbe – has also been designed in this area. However, in relation to the D-O-E water corridor, the region is a kind of a crossroads even today – a crossroads of opinions, which are often not much obliging. Why is that so? The protest events, which largely are held in Olomouc, are perhaps fed with the distrustful atmosphere, which governs the Faculty of Science of Palacky University. The reserved attitude of economic circles of the region may originate in sceptical views of the prompt realization of the D-O-E water corridor. According to them, the gradual development of the project will reach the Central Moravian region only in a far future, i.e. too late to aid in dealing with the pressing regional problems like flood control. The denominator of the pessimism is similar to the other regions; in the region of Olomouc it is only more pronounced. One of the important factors is lack of information on the project routing, on impacts of its realization and its regional functions.

Benefits of water corridor Danube-Oder-Elbe for Olomouc Region

• The completed third stage of the D-O-E water corridor on the Olomouc Region territory will bring to life one of the most important junctions of European waterways, which will connect three seas and could be righteously called the port in the heart of Europe.

• The region will benefit from the water-management effects of the D-O-E water corridor, which will be most apparent in Haná, as well as from its flood control function; the proposed dry polders will bring a positive impact even to the regions of Zlín and South Moravia. Development of long-distance cruises will boost visitor rates of many sights on the route of the water corridor (Olomouc, Bouzov, Hranice, Teplice nad Bečvou etc.).


The route and longitudinal section of the D-O-E water corridor in its third stage. The map in full resolution you can download here...

Let us move on, then, and continue describing the D-O-E water corridor route from where we have left it in the previous chapter – on the Bečva river in Troubky. The canal only crosses the Bečva on the same level and does not lead through its riverbed, with an optional exception of the branch for the Přerov plants. Beyond the river, the route should underpass the main railway track and behind it – at Rokytnice – it should enter the first of the high lock series with saving basins heading for the actual fork of the Oder and Elbe branch. The length of the Rokytnice pool – from the next lock on the Oder branch to the next lock on the Elbe one – is exceptionally convenient due to the terrain circumstances of Haná – more than 50 kms. The pool can easily compare to the pools of North German or Dutch canals. Let us first follow the route to the Oder. The officially protected route should circle around Přerov and follow the northern side of the main railway track around Lipník all the way to Hranice. Then, close to the cement mill, it crosses to the southern side, where it cuts through the European watershed at the village of Kunčice with either a deep cut or a canal tunnel.

Pohled k Hranicím od místa, kde trasa podle oficiálního řešení (obcházející velkým obloukem město) protíná rozvodí mezi Dunajem a Odrou. Uprostřed snímku areál hranické cementárny. Šipkou je naznačeno místo, kde by byl jižní portál cca 1,3 km dlouhého průplavního tunelu, který se zřejmě jeví vhodněji než hluboký zářez (terén na rozvodí je na kótě cca 315 m n. m.). 

A view from the point where the official solution, circling Hranice wide, crosses the watershed of the Danube and Oder towards the town. The Hranice cement mill is in the centre of the picture. The arrow marks the southern portal of a 1.3 km long canal tunnel. Such solution appears more suitable than a deep cut (the terrain of the watershed lies at 315 ms ASL).

The solution will be decided according to ecological and economic aspects. The D-O-E water corridor then enters the river basin of the Luha, the Oder tributary. It follows its valley, still south from the railway tracks, all the way to Jeseník nad Odrou. The next section of the third stage, i.e. the descending part of the water corridor, is already on the Moravian Silesian territory, which is treated in the following chapter. It is worth noticing, that the route ascends from the long Haná pool, which altitude equals the Elbe altitude in the flatland below Hradec Králové, to the “rooftop of Europe” only through two high locks: in Buk near Prosenice and in Trnávka near Lipník nad Bečvou. It is now essential to emphasize the crucial importance of the lowest spot in the centre of Europe for the routing of the D-O-E water corridor. It is as valuable as the narrowest part of the American continent for the Panamanian economy. We are talking the Moravian Gate. There is hardly anything else of similar significance that the country has to offer to Europe. For the section Buk–Jeseník nad Odrou, there was an alternative solution considered. Although not a long time ago it was excluded from the official documents, the newest research has proved it much more convenient from both the economic and flood control point of view.

The alternative route crosses the main track as well as the first class road 47 only at Prosenice, runs between the road and the Bečva (eventually, in a short stretch above the Osek dam, straight through the Bečva riverbed to Hranice). Above the dam in Hranice, it passes to the Hranice pool. Its construction was designed to allow slightly higher elevation depending on the need of the waterway. This pool takes the D-O-E water corridor route through the so-called Teplice narrow and runs on along the wide Bečva valley to the village of Hustopeče nad Bečvou, where it turns sharply to north and crosses the watershed between the villages of Poruba and Palačov. Both alternative routes join again at Jeseník nad Odrou. The alternative option has been investigated several times throughout the history. Last time it attracted engineers in 1960s, when a large reservoir on the Bečva at Teplice was being seriously considered and even prepared. At first sight, it was tempting to lead the navigation through the wide lake and save several kilometres of the artificial canal routing. Only at first sight, though, as merely the entrance to the dam reservoir would need to be fitted with an oversized lock of up to a 30-m fall, which due to the number of locked vessels would certainly become a capacity bottleneck. Next, it would be necessary to respect the actual purpose of the reservoir. It called for a significant water level fluctuation, which would influence even the length of the elevated water surface. Below the minimal reservoir water level, the through navigation channel would thus have to be deepened. The Teplice reservoir would thus represent more of an obstacle than a navigation advantage. Superficial knowledge of this episode provokes numerous misunderstandings; e.g. that for the D-O-E water corridor the dam is essential, if not as part of the route, then at least as a reservoir of water for the lock operations. It is yet another mistake, which certainly does not contribute to the fair evaluation of the project. It is not only that the dam lake at Teplice would be in a way; the contemporary concept of providing water for a waterway would make it absolutely redundant.

Owing to the water management role of the D-O-E water corridor, the project of this dam, once considered an essential water-managing reservoir of the Morava river basin, could be definitely abandoned. The D-O-E water corridor could provide the Morava with more water and at lower cost that the Teplice dam. The enthusiasm of routing the waterway through the Teplice narrow and the reservoir of Teplice nad Bečvou has thus gradually disappeared. Other aversive aspects of the alternative route have only contributed to that. It is almost 7 kms longer that the currently official route, plus it requires three locks instead of only two: at Lipník nad Bečvou, at Černotín and at Poruba. In addition, the Teplice narrow does not allow the required radii of bends, therefore, similarly to Kroměříž, extremely small radii would have to be applied (650 or even 600 ms) as well as (perhaps even) some short sections of one-way traffic and regulated traffic of longer convoys. The final decision about the case should be very careful.

Bečva v tzv. teplické soutěsce u Lázní Teplic. Koryto řeky poskytuje dostatečnou šířku pro převedení koridoru D-O-L, byť místy za cenu poněkud ostrých oblouků. 

The Bečva in a narrow near Lázně Teplice. The riverbed is wide enough to accommodate the D-O-E water corridor route, although with quite sharp bends in some places.

If the large reservoir at Teplice is not an option any more, the dry polder of the area remains the more topical. The concerned cross-section allows retaining and transformation of flood waves, which threaten the whole Bečva basin, as much as the basin of the Morava below the Bečva mouth. The body of the waterway, led south from the main railway line from Černotín to Hustopeče, could optimally outline the polder and rid of the costly re-loadings of the line as well as the parallel road. The combination of a polder (e.g. of the volume of 50–100 mill. m3) and the D-O-E water corridor would be highly convenient rather than problematic, like in a case of a reservoir with a significantly higher water level. Moreover, a part of the flood discharges could be simply transferred from the Hranice pool to the waterway, which would lower flood threat in the section from Hranice all the way to Kroměříž. If you consider the 25 % lower costs of the alternative corridor routing and cutback on construction costs of the actual polder, this solution currently appears much more promising than the official routing, and thus should be documented as fast as possible, for the realization of the polder has grown rather urgent already. If realization of the dry polder is not carefully coordinated with the D-O-E water corridor, serious economic may occur. Therefore, with the respect to higher chances of the alternative solution the attached situation and longitudinal cross-section document it in detail, while the official route is treated only in general.


The route and longitudinal section of the D-O-E water corridor in its third stage - branch to Olomouc. The map in full resolution you can download here...

Let us now return above the lock in Rokytnice and follow the route towards the Elbe. The D-O-E water corridor should head for Velký Týnec, circle Olomouc from the east and run through intensively farmed, practically forestless flatland around the villages of Štěpánov, Moravská Huzová and Pňovice towards Střelice, where the long Haná pool finally comes to the end. The first high lock with saving basins will have to be erected there to start the ascent to the Elbe watershed. Owing to the navigation linkage of the port of Olomouc in order to manage economically the overplus from excavations as well as for protection of the city against floods, the relatively easy section of the Elbe branch up to Pňovice should be considered an integral part of the third stage of the corridor realization. Above the lock of Střelice there are two alternative routing options. The first one – officially protected – heads for the town of Loštice, where it enters the Třebůvka River valley; the other one leads around Králová, through the saddle of Úsov to the wide valley of the Morava at Dubicko, crosses the river, and along the main line runs to Zábřeh na Moravě, where it enters the Moravská Sázava River valley. According to engineering of each solution, they could be nicknamed the lift and the lock alternatives, respectively. The officially protected lift alternative will have to cut through the PLA Litovelské Pomoraví and interfere with the Morava River in terms of a level crossing, which will call for a dam construction. Quite naturally it has stirred severe protests of conservationists. They argue eloquently that granting an exception from the law, which literally bans routing of navigation canals through protected areas, would be far from easy. Most probably, such statutory exception will not be needed, as nowadays the lock alternative appears much more convenient from both the technical and economic respects.

Meandry Moravy u Nových Zámků v CHKO Litovelské Pomoraví si jistě zaslouží nejpřísnější ochranu jako cenný segment krajiny. Není ostatně žádný důvod do této oblasti zasahovat a charakter řeky i její nivy měnit. Vodní koridor D-O-L je veden ve vzdálenosti 4–6 km od řeky, zcela mimo oblast CHKO. 

As a valuable landscape segment, the Morava meanders of Litovelské Pomoraví PLA at Nové Zámky deserve the highest protection. There is absolutely no need to disturb the area and change the character of the river and its alluvium. The D-O-E water corridor runs 4–6 kms away from the PLA.

It results from comparison of the following course of the route, which runs mostly through the Pardubice Region. We shall thus postpone the actual comparison of pro and con to the relevant chapter. Let us recognize the lock alternative as more convenient for the route Střelice– Králová–Dubicko–Zábřeh na Moravě, and focus mainly on that option. To surpass the altitude differences of the described section of the lock route another high lock – along with the one in Střelice – was proposed at Králová. Similarly to the lift route, the lock alternative has to cross to the right Morava bank, i.e. to cross its valley alluvium as well as its bed. However, the situation is quite different from the previous routing: firstly, the crossing does not happen in the PLA area, secondly, the river would be crossed by a canal bridge, and its natural character would not be disturbed at all. The most important part of the lock route comes at the crossing of the valley alluvium. Without any extra costs needed, the body of the D-O-E water corridor would create a transversal dyke of a polder, plus its longitudinal lining on the west side, which would prevent inundation to reach the main railway corridor. A perfect functioning of the polder could be guaranteed by a functional facility, which might be a part of the canal bridge. The protection volume of the polder (which may be called polder Dubicko) could reach about 50–70 mill. m3. The effect on reduction of flood culminations would be as crucial as in the case of the polder in Teplice nad Bečvou. Moreover, it would significantly contribute to protection of Olomouc.

The opportunity to establish the Dubicko polder is an indisputable advantage of the lock route. If even after transformation of the flood wave in the polder the flood control of the regional capital or other municipalities along the Morava was not sufficient, the flood could be also led through the canal – from Dubicko all the way to Kojetín. The above described sections of the waterway could have one rather important port in Olomouc, located in the developing industrial zone of the city, and in Hranice, right next to the Hranice cement mill (according to the official solution). Berths could be established at Pňovice, i.e. in the focus point of Litovel, Šternberk and Uničov, and at Zábřh na Moravě. Alternatively, a port could be established in Valašské Meziříčí near the existing chemical concern. To conclude this chapter, it is safe to say that construction of the D-O-E water corridor in the Olomouc Region could commence immediately. There is no doubt that flood control in the region is a priority task, which must not be postponed.

Thus, we propose:

• Realization of the polder in Teplice nad Bečvou according to the optimal concept, i.e. with the concurrent construction of a part of the D-O-E water corridor (within the first stage of its realization).

• Realization of the Dubicko polder, with a dyke running along the route of the D-O-E water corridor and adjusted the way, which would allow a construction of a complete cross-section of the waterway in the future (also within the first realization stage).

• Construction of the part of the Haná pool, which circles around Olomouc and Litovel, i.e. at least the section from Pňovice to Holice, as a flood diversion canal of the Morava River sections crossing the centres of these towns. Part of the flood discharge would enter the canal from a short feeder in the route Litovel–Pňovice and return to the Morava via an exit branch below Olomouc. The flood diversion canal of the future water corridor could be a dry, grassed bed with presently only a smaller profile. Construction of the D-O-E water corridor in the Olomouc Region indeed could begin immediately with no worries about any preliminary investments. Clear specification of needs and options as well as purposeful coordination of all operations are all that it requires in order not to waste funds on one-purpose projects, which are eventually more expensive than one complex solution.