Berths are important infrastructure elements of waterways, as they allow for the mooring of vessels and their staying outside the fairway. The project aims at further developing the public berths that are available for usual, operational purposes of cargo and passenger vessels (e.g. resting periods, staff changes, shore leaves) according to user needs and legal requirements. Competing interactions between cargo and passenger shipping are to be considered just like current and future requirements of the European Union (e.g. Directive on the establishment of infrastructure for alternative fuels).
In the course of the project needs assessments and feasibility studies are being conducted as a basis for targeted measures designed to improve the public berths along the Austrian Danube sector. The actual implementation and financing of these measures will be achieved in subsequent projects, like the initiative "Rehabilitation of public berthing places". Furthermore, a catalogue of quantitative and qualitative criteria for the upgrading of selected berths will be elaborated in coordination with the shipping industry.
- Valuable insights regarding the development of berths and the need for development were gained by carrying out on-site visits in other countries and by conducting needs assessments. Visible structural defects on berths with vertical bank constructions were recorded in 2017 and cost estimations for the correction of these deficiencies were made.
- In order to determine on which berths vessels can benefit the most from future improvements, viadonau examines the frequency of the usage of all public berths for cargo and passenger vessels along the Austrian Danube since August 2017. These data enable viadonau to implement a berth development, which is very close to the requirements of the shipping sector.
In 2018 a feasibility study was elaborated for the further development of the shore-side power supplies for inland navigation in the four public Danube ports Linz, Enns, Krems and Vienna. It was established that the adjustment of the infrastructure to a contemporary performance level for cargo and passenger shipping is possible in all four ports. Furthermore, cost estimations for the necessary configurations were elaborated. The assessment of the sector's needs as regards shore-side power supply is under preparation.
Another feasibility study was also finalised in 2018. It examined possible variants of structural upgrading and refurbishment of existing berths in Linz and Vienna and prepared corresponding cost estimates. In addition to installation and renovation costs, long-term maintenance and repair costs were also taken into account. The upgrading of one berth in Linz (dry cargo berth Linz-Mitte) and another one in Vienna is planned for the coming years. Also, renovation measures for berths with existing vertical shoring in Vienna were budgeted.
In addition, two traffic management measures were implemented in Vienna in 2018 in cooperation with the Supreme Shipping Authority. Firstly, the former "Public Passenger Area", which has vertical shoring, was also opened to freight shipping and renamed "Brigittenau III". On the other hand, at all public berths in Vienna with vertical shoring, the maximum berthing time was limited to 48 hours in order to keep these berths available for a higher number of ships (exceptions: the two tanking berths in the New Danube and the two border control berths). These two measures improve the situation for freight shipping in Vienna.
The activity makes a substantial contribution to the implementation of measure 07. Increase the quality of berthing places and towpaths along the riverbanks of the Action Programme for the Danube 2022.