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Westerschelde

The Westerschelde in the province Zeeland in the southwestern Netherlands, is an estuary of the Scheldt river. It is an important shipping route to Antwerp, Belgium. Therefore, unlike the other sea arms, it is not closed by a dam as part of the Delta Works. Instead, the dykes around it have been heightened and reinforced.

Many ships have sunk in the Westerschelde. Following an agreement between the Netherlands and Flanders governments in 1995, many of these wrecks have been removed to improve shipping access to Antwerpen. It is expected that the last 38 wrecks in the shipping channel will be removed during 2003. The largest wreck was the 131 metre long Alan A. Dale which was removed during June 2003.

Westerschelde Tunnel [1] (http://www.westerscheldetunnel.nl/index.cfm?language=en&)

Mid-March 2003, a tunnel under the Westerschelde was opened, the Westerschelde Tunnel, from Ellewoutsdijk (mun. Borsele) in Zuid-Beveland to Terneuzen in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen. It is the longest road traffic tunnel of the Netherlands. The toll fee is 4 for cars and motor cycles. Motor cyclists have protested against the fact that their fee is the same as for cars. Payment is at the Tolplein on the north bank, for both directions.

The tunnel is not accessible for pedestrians, cyclists or moped riders; however, there are bus services, and upon request (one hour in advance) bicycles and mopeds can be transported in the bus and a trailer, respectively. New public transport nodes are Tolplein (mun. Borsele) on the north bank and Terneuzen Busstation on the south bank. Bus services through these nodes are:

Bus passengers do not have to pay a supplement over the regular bus tariff.

Ferry [2] (http://www.bba.nl/fastferries.shtm)

The ferry between Flushing and Breskens (mun. Sluis), formerly a car ferry, is now accessible for pedestrians and cyclists only. It is now operated by BBA Fast Ferries Zeeland, part of Connex, first with the existing ships, from March 2004 with catamarans. The ferry Kruiningen-Perkpolder has been discontinued.

Additional external link about the tunnel and the ferry

[3] (http://www.zeeland.nl/uploaded_files/1123_oversteek_westerschelde.pdf) (in Dutch, pdf, 1MB)



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