To guarantee the accessibility of the Albert Canal even in times of drought, the Flemish waterway manager “De Vlaamse Waterweg” decided to equip the six lock complexes along the canal with potent pumping stations. In order to build the new pumping station in Hasselt, 1130m² of Staco walkway gratings were mounted on top of the new diversion channel.
Because the Albert Canal is fed by the Meuse river, it is not always supplied with sufficient water in long periods of draught. However, with the new pumping stations the canal will remain navigable for vessels with a normal draught of 3.4 metres, important indeed since the canal is a crucial link in the European main waterway network.
A new concrete diversion channel was built to supply pumping water to the pumping station. On top of this construction Staco walkway gratings were mounted, serving both as walkways and as a fall protection. The 300 metres long object was fitted with 1130m² of type RR 60-3 galvanized Staco gratings with a mesh size of 44x44. Given the wide span of more than 2 metres between the support profiles, the decision was made to heighten the bearing bars to 60 mm. Because of the presence of flowing water the profiles and gratings were chemically anchored.
When the new pumping stations are not pumping through water, from now on they will also function as a hydropower plant and produce green electricity. This way even gratings—as part of the construction—eventually contribute to an eco-friendly application.