Implementing Bridge Clearance Application to RIS

In Poland, a safe clearance system under bridges for IWW transport units will be implemented during the EMMA Extension. Measurement and telemetric sensors will be installed on at least two bridges located in Odra River in Szczecin, which will safeguard a very accurate measurement of the clearance. The value of the clearance will be showed to skippers in real time using information boards. The knowledge of the conditions of a passage under a certain bridge will have a positive influence on the navigation safety, route planning, passage time and the costs, since the knowledge of the current clearance aids the loading process and helps to adapt the height of the cargo to the current water condition. The system will be in operation in the second half of 2020. Enriching the RIS system on the Polish side of the Oder river will in the long run also support the correlation of the Polish and German systems.

Implementing New IWT Logistic Concept on sections of E40 and E70 waterways

The promotion and research cruise that took place during the project EMMA in 2017 was a big success: a lot of information about river conditions and inland waterway transport potentials was gained during the nine days of sailing up the Vistula River from Gdańsk to Warsaw. During the EMMA Extension project, two commercial barge pilot sailings will be implemented on chosen sections of E40 and E70 waterways as well as neighbouring regions. The pilot area is located on lower Vistula River between Włocławek and Gdansk.


We interviewed Jacek Wójcik regarding the Polish EMMA Extension pilot. Jacek works as Project Coordinator at the Inland Navigation Office in Szczecin, which is the other Polish partner in EMMA Extension in addition to Kujawsko-Pomorskie Voivodeship.

What do you consider the biggest achievement of the already ended project EMMA?

During the last three years of cooperation we have touched upon many vital issues related to Inland Waterway Transport on the European level. The project enabled the exchange of opinions and experiences from many countries where the development of IWT is of high importance. Speaking with one voice helped to demonstrate the benefits of IWT for policy makers, and these were also expressed in elaborated recommendations for future activities and initiatives.

What kind of expectations do you have for its extension, the EMMA Extension project?

The ideas, experiences and inspiration gained in the previous years allowed to connect the planned activities with the previously developed outputs which will also be enriched and linked to the results produced during the extension stage.

The RIS Centre in Szczecin is one of the most advanced in Poland, however, it is still undergoing its implementation stage. It misses some important parameters such as bridge clearance, water levels etc. Therefore, the planned pilot fits perfectly into the activities of Inland Navigation Office for the benefit of its customers. Even though the investment for the main output will be implemented in the Szczecin area, it will have an influence on the route planning for cross-border shipments and operations between Polish and German inland waterway systems.

How would you describe your national EMMA Extension pilot?

As a part of the EMMA Extension pilot, we assume to create a pilot system for automatic readings of safe clearances under bridges for inland navigation transport vessels. We will install measurement and telemetric sensors on at least two bridges, which will allow for a very accurate measurement of the clearance. Another key element of the system will be information boards that show the current value of the clearance. All strategic data will be gathered, analysed and managed by RIS Centre operators. The system is expected to be fully operational at the end of 2020.

What are its expected results?

The navigation safety will increase significantly, thanks to the information boards that will display the current value of a clearance under a bridge. Another key element is the logistics aspect as it will allow to shorten the passage time of a vessel. The knowledge of the current clearance may also aid the ship’s loading process and help to adapt the height of the cargo. In the long run this will lower the cost and make the transport more profitable for the operators.

How will the pilot proceed during the EMMA Extension project (2019-2021)?

The work will begin with the tender process to select the contractor. Then the selected contractor will be responsible for the elaboration of Accuracy and quality analysis to implement bridge clerance system. This will indicate at least two bridges located in the area of the city of Szczecin where its installation is vital as well as the type of techlogy that will be used during the process. Timewise, the activity is planned for the 1st quarter of 2020. Meanwile, the promotional activities will commence for the waterway users and wider public. The main investment of installation is foreseen to be implemented and fully oparational by the end of 2020.

What kind of value do the EMMA Extension project and the pilot bring to your region?

In addition to the benefits mentioned above, EMMA project brings measurable benefits for the region by increasing the safety of navigation and lowering the time of transport, therefore making the region more attractive not only for the existing companies operating in the area but also attracting new potentially interested actors. It makes its valuable contribution to the development of industry and tourism, which is a leading economy sector in the West Pomeranian region.

In questions regarding the Polish EMMA Extension pilot, please contact:

Mr. Jacek Wójcik
Project coordinator at Inland Navigation Office in Szczecin