Belgium: Deurganck Lock Construction Moves Forward
Hilde Crevits, Flemish minister of Transport & Public Works, has given the official order to begin actual construction of the Deurganck lock.
The initial excavation work has been carried out in the past year, but now work has begun on the physical structure of what will be the largest lock in the world. During the next few months work will start on the concrete structures of the lock walls standing perpendicular to the existing quays. Some 1,500 to 2,000 m³ of concrete will be poured every day. Once they have been completed the structures will contain 795,000 m³ of reinforced concrete and 57,000 m³ of sheet piling (equal to the area of 80 football fields). So far the work is on schedule.
At this stage 25% of the 9.1 million m³ of excavation work has already been completed (dry excavation + dredging). The dredging work will continue until January 2016. Some 3.2 million m³ will be reused to fill the lock structure, while some will be used for further filling of the old Doel dock.
In the meantime work is going ahead on construction of the lock gates and bridges, and preparations are being made for construction of the control and machinery buildings.
Having a second lock giving access to the port area on the left bank will offer important advantages not only for the port of Antwerp but also for the whole of Flanders and indeed Europe. Once it has been completed it will considerably increase the handling capacity. The annual volume of lock-dependent freight handled on the left bank is expected to rise from about 16 million tonnes in 2011 to more than 25 million tonnes in 2020, or in other words an increase of 56%. Construction of the Deurganck lock will also afford greater security of operation for port activities on the left bank, as the Kallo lock (currently the area’s only sea access) has reached the limits of its capacity. The new lock forms part of the strategic plans for expansion of the port of Antwerp. It also represents a new step by Flanders towards completion of the TEN-T, the EU’s Trans-European Network for Transport that will serve Europe as a whole.
Press Release, December 5, 2012