Construction of the world’s largest sea lock in IJmuiden complete

Construction works on the world’s largest sea lock in IJmuiden are now fully complete, according to the Dutch water agency Rijkswaterstaat.

The new sea lock – being 70 metres wide, 500m long and 18m deep – will greatly improve the accessibility of the Port of Amsterdam and stimulate the region’s economy by providing tide-independent space for the increasingly large seafaring vessels.

At the moment, the new IJmuiden sea lock is being tested extensively, so that it can be officially opened at the beginning of next year.

The official opening of the new lock will take place on Wednesday, 26 January 2022, from 12.00 to 15.00 LT, during which the entire IJmuiden lock complex will be closed to navigation.

The contract for this new lock system was awarded in 2015 to the OpenIJ, a consortium comprising of BAM PPP PGGM, VolkerWessels, and DIF. Construction activities – which were carried out by a BAM Infra and VolkerWessels – kicked off in early 2016 and were completed this fall.

The consortium was supported by Van Oord and Boskalis for all the dredging and groundwork operations, including dry earthmoving activities, the excavation of a part of the Zuidersluiseiland, the dredging of the new access channels (sea side and North Sea canal side), the dredging of the new Sluiskolk and the application of the new soil protection.

After completion, the Van Oord – Boskalis will also be responsible for keeping the canals at the designed depth for a period of 26 years.

Photo: Rijkswaterstaat