New sea lock
The largest sea lock in the world
The new lock will be 500 metres long, 70 metres wide and 18 metres deep, making it the world’s largest sea lock. Construction began in January 2016 and the new lock will be available for shipping early 2022. From then on, Port of Amsterdam will be accessible 24 hours a day.
The construction of the new sea lock will continue unabated in the coming months. Work is being carried out on the maintenance dock situated in the inner lock head (number 1 in the picture) and preparations for the Loswal (quay) on the South Lock island (number 2 in the picture) are underway.
After the lock gate chamber of the inner head (at the North Sea Canal side) was sunk to its planned depth in 2019, OpenIJ started the completing works in the lock gate chamber early in 2020.
In recent months, the corona crisis has also reached the new sea lock in IJmuiden. OpenIJ started taking measures at the construction site at a very early stage. Peter van Hoogstraten is project leader at OpenIJ for the eastern part of the lock in IJmuiden. We asked him three questions about this.
The new sea lock will be completely dredged out and all this sand will have to go somewhere. How does this work? What are they doing with all this sand? Arjan Kroot, site manager of the lock complex, explained the working techniques used on the construction site.
Why a new sea lock?
- The North Lock will reach the end of its technical service life in 2029 and has become too small for today’s ever-larger seagoing vessels.
- The New Sea Lock is tide-independent and can be used 24/7.
- A new large sea lock allows new-generation larger vessels to pass through the North Sea Canal smoothly and safely.
- With a larger lock, the port has the possibility to grow from today’s 90 million tons to 125 million tons of goods handled per year.
Who is carrying out the work?
Commissioned by Rijkswaterstaat (Dutch Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management), the new sea lock in IJmuiden will be built by the OpenIJ consortium of contractors during the next few years. The project is a collaborative venture of the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, the Province of North Holland, the Municipality of Amsterdam, the Port of Amsterdam, and the Municipality of Velsen. The project is co-financed by the European Union’s TEN-T programme.
When will the new sea lock be completed?
The completion of the new sea lock for shipping is scheduled for the early 2022. The first ships may probably start to pass through the new sea lock during the operational test phase.
- 2020-2021: Start testing of the new sea lock
- Begin 2022: The new sea lock will be put into operational service
Drone films of the construction
New drone pictures monitoring the progress of the construction of the new sea lock from the air are made every three months. Shown here are the drone pictures made in the second quarter of 2020. This is what you can see:
- The sand depot of OpenIJ on the western part of the Middle Lock island.
- The concrete mixing plant where the concrete is produced.
- The separation of the approach channel to the Middle Lock from the new sea lock.
- The guard wall and the dividing wall - both part of the flood defence structure.
- The lock gate chambers of the outer and inner head.
- The flood defence on top of which the public road and cycle path will be built.
- The Lock Operation Centre (SOC) and the local control buildings.
- The dry dock that will house the spare lock gate.
- The chamber of the lock to be used by the ships that are going to pass through the lock.
Reports on the construction of the New Sea Lock often use a number of technical terms. But what exactly is a sheet pile wall and what is a combi wall? What is meant by the diaphragm method and the caisson method? What do these things look like? We have listed the most used terms in a glossary with explanations and visual material.
Time-lapse of the construction
This is a time-lapse of the activities from April to June 2020. The following activities can be seen:
- The dismantling of the cofferdam for the lock sill and the removal of the strut frames (tubular piles) of the outer lock head.
- Removal of the scaffolding of the lock gate chamber of the outer head.
- Controlled inundation of the lock gate chamber and the lock sill of the outer head.
- Completion of the last part of the lock chamber wall south.
- Installation of the masts for public lighting.
- Controlled inundation of the lock chamber.
- Removal of sand from the lock chamber.
Scheduled activities and obstructions
For the construction of the new sea lock work and obstructions are planned. There are also planned activities and closures in connection with regular maintenance of the IJmuiden North Lock and Middle Lock.
Activities and measures in relation to the construction of the IJmuiden New Sea Lock
|August 26 2016 until further notice||Activities and measures in relation to the construction of the IJmuiden New Sea Lock|
Activities and measures in relation to the maintenance of the IJmuiden North Lock and Middle Lock
|September 22 2020, 07.00 - 15.00 LT||Closure of the IJmuiden Middle Lock|
|October 13 2020, 07.00 - 15.00 LT||Maintenance closure North Lock|
For neighbouring residents
The Dutch Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management regularly holds consultations with residents, together with OpenIJ about the new sea lock. Regularly a newsletter is being issued to which you can subscribe.
Do you have questions or complaints on the construction work? Please contact the Dutch Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management (Rijkswaterstaat) via 0800 - 8002. For more information, see the website of Rijkswaterstaat.
For businesses in the port
Port of Amsterdam regularly consults with the ORAM Amsterdam Region Business Association, agents, port service providers and customers on the effects of the construction on shipping. Also subscribe to our newsletter for information about the construction of the sea lock
Are you interested in the commercial opportunities for your business after the new sea lock has been taken into use? Or do you have questions about the new possibilities in logistics and cargo flows after 2022? Please contact us.