In order for ships to enter the new lock in the Port of Amsterdam in a safe way, Jasper Coremans, Project Coordinator of OpenIJ, explains that works are being conducted on the west side of the new lock to realise a proper approach channel.
In the southwest of the southern lock chamber wall of the new lock, the Port is building a ‘dividing wall’. This connects the new sea lock with the Middle Lock and serves as a flood defence and the future public road across the locks will be built on top of it.
In addition, south of the dividing wall lies the current inner approach channel that links the Middle Lock to the North Sea Canal. The new sea lock’s seaward or outer approach channel will be built on the north side of the dividing wall. The necessary dredging operations will start at a later stage.
The guard wall protects the Middle Lock when ships are entering the new sea lock. The guard wall is also part of the entire coastal flood defence structure and connects the flood defence of the new sea lock with that of the Middle Lock
Jasper Coremans, Project Coordinator of OpenIJ, stated.
In addition, in the seaward side of the guard wall, an outer approach wall will be built as well. The outer approach wall separates the outer approach channel to the new sea lock from the outer approach channel to the Middle Lock. Separation is necessary because the two approach channels differ greatly in depth.
What is more, the western part of the Middle Lock Island will be removed. This area of land used to form the separation between the outer approach channels to the North Lock and the Middle Lock. This area now serves as a temporary depot. Namely, the western part of the Middle Lock island must be removed to make place for the new outer approach channel to the new sea lock and will soon have completely disappeared.
The concrete structures for the dividing wall, the guard wall and the outer approach wall are now almost completed, and then the finishing work can start. This will make the structures an integral part of the entire coastal flood defence which also includes the construction of a public road.
There is minimal disruption to shipping traffic at the moment. Although the North Lock and the Middle Lock are both available, work ships are currently carrying out works in the inner approach channel to the Middle Lock, so ships must pass with caution there. But we have put sufficient safety measures in place already three years ago, when we diverted part of the inner approach channel to the Middle Lock to a more southerly route
Jasper Coremans concluded.