Despite the delay in the construction of the sea lock reported this month, activities are continuing apace. July is devoted to construction work on the lock gate chamber of the outer head; this is the lock gate chamber on the seaward side (no. 1 in the picture). The builder is also going to prepare the sinking operation of this lock gate chamber. Also in July, OpenIJ will be continuing with the tensioning operation on the anchors of the lock chamber walls (no. 2 in the picture) and will also be working on the Lock Operation Centre - known by the acronym "SOC" (no. 3 in the picture).
Outer head lock gate chamber
Right now, OpenIJ is busy preparing for the sinking of the outer head lock gate chamber (the seaward side one). Sinking is the preferred method to bring the lock gate chamber to its final vertical position. At present, the underside of the floor of the lock gate chamber lies 5 metres below NAP (NAP is Normal Amsterdam Level - roughly Mean Sea Level). The lock gate chamber will be sunk another 18 metres to a final depth of approximately 23 metres below NAP. After the lock gate chamber has been sunk to its final position, two more vertical layers will be constructed on top of the present walls (this means around 7.20 metres of extra height).
Lock chamber walls
The lock chamber walls of the new sea lock are made of diaphragm walls constructed in a deep trench excavation. Onto these diaphragm walls, OpenIJ is now installing anchor beams in which the anchors will be placed. The anchors are now being tensioned to ensure the stability of the lock chamber walls.
Lock Operation Centre (SOC)
The Lock Operation Centre - known by the acronym "SOC" - is a complex of buildings, consisting of a main building and two local control buildings on either side of the main building. A distinctive characteristic of the design of the SOC is that the building inclines towards the lock at an angle of 15 degrees. This way the lock keepers will have a perfect view of all that happens in the lock and can monitor everything closely. The photo below shows that the SOC is now beginning to take shape.