The lock gates, the lock gate chamber and the inner head

News item

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.


The lock gate chamber is where the operational lock gate will roll in and out. In the near future, the spare gate will be located next to the operational gate in this same gate chamber.

Early in 2019, one of the three lock gates was already brought inside the future chamber of the new sea lock. The other two gates (now at OpenIJ in Amsterdam) will be positioned into the lock in 2021.

Maarten Verdonk of OpenIJ works as Site Manager for the inner and outer lock heads and the lock chamber. The completing works in the lock gate chambers will bring all the important parts of the lock together. Maarten talked about the completion and explained how the lock gates work. 

The lock has two lock gate chambers - one at the inner and one at the outer head. The lock gate chamber must house the rolling lock gate when it opens to let a ship enter or leave the lock. The completion of a lock gate chamber is quite a difficult job, Maarten explained.

"The parts have to be fitted to the nearest millimetre. The finishing work also involves the construction of many cables and pipes. Despite the large structure of the lock gate chamber, it is difficult to fit parts into it. That's why we work with 3D models; the models enable us to plan in advance how the parts can best be mounted. 

Use of the environment

Construction and engineering works at the new sea lock are often carried out by well-known subcontractors. Maarten said, "Because of the location of the lock, we have also looked at the possibilities of using local companies with knowledge of the area. So we are working together on this beautiful project with a number of companies in the area."

Soon, the operational gate and the spare gate will be positioned inside the inner lock head. Maarten added: "Because the inner and outer gates are identical, only one spare gate is needed. During the design phase, it was decided to store this gate in the maintenance dock (the spare lock gate's dry dock) situated next to the lock gate chamber of the inner head. 

Three gates in one lock 

The three gates were transported to the Netherlands by the end of 2018. One of the gates is now already inside the lock chamber. Maarten explained: "As soon as all the sand has been dredged out of the lock, this gate will be positioned into the outer lock gate chamber. The other two gates are still in the Alaskahaven in Amsterdam. As soon as the inner lock head and inner lock sill have been completed and there is water in the lock, both gates will be transported to the new sea lock. This will be in the first half of 2021."