IJmuiden Sea Lock Project in Full Swing

November and December – under the New IJmuiden Sea Lock project – will be dominated by the transportation of the lock gates from South Korea, the sinking operation of the lock gate chamber of the outer head and the construction activities on the walls of the flood defense, reports the Port of Amsterdam.

The three lock gates – steel structures weighing 2,900 tons each – are on their way from South Korea on heavy load carrier Talisman. Talisman sailed from the shipyard in the port of Mokpo, where the lock gates have been built, on 24 October.

According to the Port, the sea voyage should take approximately six weeks, but given the route and the uncertainty of the weather conditions it is not easy to predict when exactly the gates will arrive in IJmuiden.

Two of the three gates will be completed in the Alaskahaven at OpenIJ’s logistics center. This concerns the installation of hydraulic systems and all electrical installations. The third gate will be completed at IJmuiden on the building site at the lock island. This gate will then be maneuvered into the sunken outer head lock gate chamber, added the Port.

Sinking operation of the outer head lock gate chamber

More than fifty percent of the sinking operation has already been completed. The lock gate chamber (the caisson), which has the size of a block of flats, is now being sunk centimeter by centimeter into the ground.

By washing away the sand underneath the structure, the caisson’s own weight is causing it to sink further and further down to its predetermined final position. This process is largely automated and will be monitored by CCTV cameras installed under the floor of the caisson.

When the caisson has arrived at its final position – which can happen any moment now – the remaining space under the caisson will be filled up with concrete.

The walls of the flood defense

Also in November and December, OpenIJ will continue to work on the construction of the walls of the flood defense near the IJmuiden North Lock. When completed, this flood defense will be part of the primary water-control structure in the Netherlands and that is why it has to be built to a height of approximately 8.85 meters above NAP (Normal Amsterdam Level).

The new public road between the new sea lock and the existing Middle Lock (the Middensluisweg) will be built on top of this flood defense. The flood defense – lying between the existing North Lock and the new sea lock – will be made of concrete L-Walls.

The walls of the inner lock head are getting higher and higher

Work is continuing on the walls of the inner head. The inner head – length 81 meters, width 55 meters, height 25.6 meters – will be bigger than the outer head because here two lock gates are to be placed.

In the coming months, the walls of the inner head lock gate chamber will be getting higher and higher. It is expected that the sinking operation of the inner head lock gate chamber will take place in the first half of 2019.