Vltava may be widened to prevent floods

There is a plan to expand the width of the river near Velká Chuchle

State firm Povodí Vltavy and the City of Prague plan to work together widen the Vltava river at Velká Chuchle in the south of the city. The narrowing of the river there can cause a bottleneck when the water level is high. The bottleneck can lead to flooding. But any work on the project would require changes to the land use plan, and that won't occur before the autumn.

The widening of the river would take place in a one-kilometer stretch behind a weir and lock next to Prague's Modřany district, and not far from the Prague-Velká Chuchle Racecourse for horses.

The river narrows to about 71 meters there in some places. Currently, bike paths go down both sides of the river. The left bank has a path 50 meters from the river, while on the right bank it is much closer.

The right bank has a belt of greenery that belongs to Povodí Vltavy, the state firm that looks after the river basin.

Changes to the zoning plan would also allow for more recreational use in the area, as parts of the natural landscape could be modified. The plan may also include a corridor for a high-pressure gas pipeline. The budget for the project is expected to exceed Kč 142.7 million, accroding to business daily EI5.

Another project in the Velká Chuchle area that has already been approved is widening the Vrutice stream so it has increased capacity to divert water. The channel had become clogged with silt, and causes problems in the area after a heavy rain.

Prague has been investing heavily into flood protection since the Vltava overflowed in 2002 and again in 2013. Most recently improvements were made at Kampa and near the Prague Zoo. The latter experienced very heavy damage in 2002.

The flooding in 2002 was the most extensive since 1845. It severely affected Karlín, Kampa, Holešovice, and the former Jewish section of Old Town. An estimated 40,000 people were evacuated from the city. Some 17 people lost their lives in the Czech Republic and damage was estimated at between Kč 70 billion and Kč 73 billion.

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