Construction of IJmuiden Sea Lock Gains Momentum

A year since the launching of the construction of the new sea lock at the North Sea Canal entrance in IJmuiden, the Netherlands, activities are well underway on making the project a reality.

This month has seen the official start of the construction of the new lock control building, and the relocation of the two waiting buildings on the North Lock.

Work also continues on the diaphragm walls for the lock chamber and on the diaphragm walls for the dividing dam.

By the end of this month, the fourth and final layer of concrete will have been poured for the floor of the outer lock head and the second layer for the floor of the inner lock head. Each lock gate recess needs about 4,000 cubic metres of concrete.

In the two cofferdams, concrete pouring for the floors is underway while reinforcement steel for the walls is now being installed. Construction of these walls will continue into next year.

“The next step in the construction process is the construction of the walls. The walls will be built on the concrete floor and will be no less than 27-meters high! In the meantime we are going to sink the entire structure in two phases,” Rob Gordijn, OpenIJ’s Area Manager, explained.

Eighteen construction blocks, being built in South Korea, will be needed for the three lock gates. When in open position, the lock gates are stored in the lock gate recesses.

The first ‘Small Box’ for the new lock gates was completed and moved out of its construction hall two weeks ago.

Each lock gate will be constructed of a total of six blocks: three upper blocks and three lower blocks which together will form one massive lock gate.

The sea lock, which will be 500 meters long, 70 meters wide and 18 meters deep, will provide better accessability to the Amsterdam port region for next-generation ships and will be able to operate in all tides. The lock is also expected to reduce waiting time for ships.

Under the project, the new lock is scheduled to be constructed by the end of 2018, when the testing phase is planned, and it will be available for shipping in 2019.

The construction of the new IJmuiden sea lock was awarded to Consortium OpenIJ, consisting of BAM-PGGM and Volker Wessels-DIF, which is responsible for the design, construction, financing and maintenance of the new lock for a period of 26 years.

Once constructed, the IJmuiden lock would be the world’s largest lock, according to the Dutch government.