The barrier of the river Douro consists of a system of breakwaters which protect the navigational access to one of the Iberian Peninsula’s largest rivers. The passage to this estuary, located in Porto, Portugal’s second largest city, was the target of a project to improve its access and security. For this project Nemus conducted the Environmental Impact Assessment (ecological, physiographic and patrimony analysis), ensured the environmental monitoring of the construction site (hydrodynamics, alluvial transport, evolution of coastal lines and ecologic components) and elaborated the environmental conformity assessment of the construction project.

The mathematic modeling of the climate’s turbulence allowed for the impact assessment of hydrodynamics and coastal dynamics. Profiles on beach, sediments, macro benthic settlements, and others were also performed.

These studies were essential to properly define not only the various locations of dredged material, the dredging schedule and the equipment best suited  for it, but also to identify alternative navigation, parking and maneuvering space for different ships and the best unloading zone for fishing boats.

This Project was awarded with the Secil prize in Civil Engineering 2009, the most important engineering prize in Portugal, for the North Breakwater Pier of Douro’s barrier, designed by Fernando Silveira Ramos (partner and manager at Nemus).