The how, what and where of the site layout of Zeesluis IJmuiden
The construction of Zeesluis IJmuiden is almost completed. Now that all the lock gates have been put in position, the area around the new sea lock is being prepared for its future use. During the preparation of the area, everything will be made ready for the opening of the lock.
This includes the asphalting of the public road and cycle paths. Site manager Edwin Komdeur and Chief Planner Dirk Jorna, both of OpenIJ, supervise this process together.
Good cooperation is important
OpenIJ has been working on the design of the site layout for four years. Preparatory work on the area around the lock started at the end of 2018. Dirk gave an explanation, “We have invested more effort in the design over the past few years, so that we had time enough for research, answering questions and fine-tuning the design. The implementation is expected to be quite a puzzle, because some parts of the lock will be ready sooner than other parts. In addition, construction of the lock is still continuing, so we have to deal with many different parties.” Dirk and Edwin try to coordinate the work on the site as well as possible. That is quite a challenge. Edwin explained, “We hold consultations at all levels and try to get everyone on board as much as possible. Every day, we discuss our internal planning with the foremen. And even before that, we coordinate all the work with the planners. They make sure that everyone at work is informed of our activities.”
The preparation of the site will only come into play once the construction of the lock nears completion. Dirk and Edwin will have to face two difficult tasks during this phase. "In the preparation of the site, we face two major challenges, namely the number of different parties carrying out the work and the work planning itself. We work to a tight schedule and are dependent on the weather. Recently, scheduled work during a weekend could not be carried out due to strong winds. So then we had to change the schedule.”
Everything must be included in the design, such as asphalting, cycle paths, road paving, road markings, fences, railings, traffic lights, barriers and navigational markings. Edwin and Dirk and their team ensure that nothing will be forgotten. Edwin explained, “Basically, we follow the design and the construction drawing. But sometimes things may have been forgotten in the design or things turn out differently in practice, certain markings, for example. I discuss such things with Dirk and we try to find a solution. Any changes are corrected and updated in the design so that there will always be a correct version available not only for now but also for future use. Special measures for the Vletterlieden are taken on the platform of the lock. Dirk explained, “The Vletterlieden are the IJmuiden linesmen (or boatmen). They assist ships with mooring and unmooring in the locks and in the port and also provide other marine services. For them, we provide the lock platform with raised edges around the lock wall and apply navigational markings.” The site is mainly laid out with concrete, asphalt and grass.
Site layout of the lock platform
Ships passing through Zeesluis IJmuiden will notice little of the site layout. Something of the layout, such as navigational markings on the lock walls, will be visible on the lock platform itself. Edwin added, “We install navigational markings and stop markings on the lock platform. This way, ships can see how far they have to go before they will be in position for mooring. Pylons for orientation for the ships will be installed at the top and rear ends of the lock. Ships can use the pylons as a visual position and direction guidance system when approaching and entering the lock. In addition, traffic lights and traffic control installations will be installed on the inner and outer lock heads. Traffic lights regulate when ships are allowed to enter or leave the lock.”