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LYSE project helps build new bypass for the Heulebeek

The region of the Lys and Yser rivers is highly urbanised and the municipalities have to deal with the considerable risks of flooding. The LYSE project wants to move towards integrated management of the flood risk through a number of cross-border measures. As part of this project, VMM is building a bypass that redirects the Heulebeek waterway around the town centre of Heule.

LYSE: what and why?

A cross-border approach that offers answers to the flooding problems is of critical importance, because the waterways do not stop at the border.

Purpose of the LYSE project

Due to climate change, changes to land use and the ever-growing urbanisation in the cross-border areas along the rivers Lys and Yser, the municipalities in those areas are becoming increasingly vulnerable to flooding. The LYSE project seeks to establish an integrated management approach to the flood risk through the implementation of a number of cross-border measures, such as:

  • realising provisions for soft water management in the upstream region of the river basins to capture the rainwater that runs off at the source and reduce problems caused by mudslides, soil erosion and flooding
  • realising provisions for a structuring water management along the waterways that cause flooding, based on the principle of cross-border solidarity between upstream and downstream areas
  • ensuring the local population is more conscious of the flood risk by raising their awareness of what that risk entails
  • creating a network between partners to coordinate actions and to discuss the various techniques and methods that need to be implemented to protect the inhabitants against flooding. 

The centre of Heule has already experienced excessive water levels in the past, and measures to protect the city against flooding became a critical issue. The flow capacity through Heule simply could not be increased. By digging a new bypass, a portion of the flood water can be channelled around the bottleneck. A conduit will also be built to allow the water to pass underneath the railway line.

Below is a short video of the conduit (slowly) being pushed through. The critical moments were also captured with photos.

LYSE in Europe



Flanders Environment Agency

Province of West Flanders

Communauté de Communes de Flandre Intérieure,

Province of Henegouwen



Chambre d'Agriculture de Région Nord Pas-de-Calais

Union Syndicale d'Aménagement hydraulique du Nord (USAN)

Syndicat Mixte pour le SAGE de la Lys (SYMSAGEL),

Type of project: Interreg France-Wallonia-Flanders

Duration: 01/01/2016 - 31/12/2019


Bypass Heulebeek

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