After a 72-hour operation, a 72-metre-long lock gate has been put into place in the new sea lock at IJmuiden, the Netherlands. The door is part of the construction of the largest sea lock in the world.
‘The door has been sailed into place in the door socket with the utmost precision. The beautiful late summer weather at the beginning of the week was ideal for moving the door,’ says Rijkswaterstaat. Rijkswaterstaat is part of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and responsible for the design, construction, management and maintenance of the main infrastructure facilities in the Netherlands.
To install the lock gate at the right depth, 600,000 cubic metres of sand had to be dug out of the lock chamber first. The door is 72 metres long and 24 metres high.
Since 2016, work has been underway in IJmuiden on the largest sea lock in the world, which will be 500 metres long. With this larger lock, there will be more space for the ever-increasing sea-going vessels. The lock should be ready for use in 2022, 2 years later than originally planned.
Until now, construction has not always proceeded smoothly. In recent years, the project has been a cause for headache for the construction company VolkerWessels and partner BAM, mainly due to a construction fault. The lock sill of the inner head, into which the lock gate on the side of the canal and the spare door enter, turned out not to be rigid enough. As a result, the initial budget for the so-called OpenIJ project was exceeded by hundreds of millions of euros.
The door will be tested in the coming months. After that, the other two lock gates, which are still in the Amerikahaven, will also be put in place.