As part of a complete renovation of the Mechelen Railway station and its surrounding areas ADEDE conducted a UXO remediation as well as an archaeological excavation of the site.
Enemy infrastructure was an important target for the Allies in WW2. Leading up to and after the invasion every railway yard, bridge, marchalling yard and port was regularly bombed by the Allies to disable troop- and munitions transportation to the front lines. As part of that strategy Mechelen was bombed regularly. Unexploded aircraft bombs can penetrate deep into the ground. Since their casings are made of steel the best way to detect them is by means of magnetometry. To distinguish magnetic signals from the railway tracks, bridges, overhead power leads from those of possible unexploded bombs the magnetometry search was executed using bore holes.
Railway infrastructure areas are amongst the most challenging environments for UXO detection. Like looking for a straw in a haystack.
Part of the project involved an underwater AUV survey.
Remnants of the very beginning of Western European industrialisation.
Next to the impact of WW2 on the area, Mechelen has the oldest Railway station in Belgium. Belgian heritage authorities recognised this and ordered a full archaeological research and excavation of the project area. ADEDE conducted both the UXO remediation and the archaeological excavation, integrating both missions in a single plan of attack ensuring the safeguarding of both the people working there as well as recording an important part of Mechelen’s development and heritage.