The Western Scheldt
) in the province Zeeland
in the southwestern Netherlands
, is the estuary
of the Scheldt
river. This river once had several estuaries, but the others are disconnected from the Scheldt, leaving the Westerschelde as its only direct way to the sea. It is an important shipping route to the Port of Antwerp
. 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 Western Scheldt. Following an agreement between the Netherlands and Flanders governments in 1995, many of these wrecks have been removed to improve shipping access to Antwerp. It was expected that the last 38 wrecks in the shipping channel would be removed during 2003. The largest wreck was the long Alan A. Dale which was removed during June 2003.
Western Scheldt Tunnel
Mid-March 2003, a tunnel
under the Western Scheldt was opened, the Western Scheldt Tunnel, from Ellewoutsdijk (mun. Borsele
) in Zuid-Beveland
. It is the longest road traffic tunnel of the Netherlands. The toll fee is €4.60 (2008) for cars
. Motorcyclists 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.
, formerly a car ferry, is now accessible for pedestrians and cyclists only. It is now operated by Veolia
Fast Ferries Zeeland, part of Connex
. First with the existing ships, but as of 2 May 2004
with two "small waterplane area twinhulls
" (swaths, similar to catamarans
), built at the Royal Schelde Group in Flushing, and named "Prins Willem Alexander" and "Prinses Máxima".
The ferry Kruiningen-Perkpolder has been discontinued.