After nearly 100 years, the lock Noordersluis in IJmuiden is due for replacement. A new, larger sea lock is to improve the accessibility of the port of Amsterdam and stimulate the region’s economy by providing tide-independent space for the increasingly large seafaring vessels. The new sea lock will be 70 metres wide, 500 metres long and 18 metres deep.

 In 2014, Rijkswaterstaat invited tenders for this DBFM contract. The contractor is not only responsible for building, but also for the design, the financing and maintenance for a period of 26 years. The space available for the new lock is limited and building has to be carried out in close proximity to the existing locks. The combination of working on the primary flood-retaining structure, the strict requirements regarding reliability, and the risks to the proper functioning of the existing Noordersluis make the project even more complex.

OpenIJ consortium

The lock must provide the hinterland with demonstrably reliable protection from flooding, whilst also allowing the largest ships to access the port of Amsterdam. Working in a ‘demonstrably reliable’ way places high demands on the verification and validation of the design, and will help reduce the level of risk. The OpenIJ consortium (within which BAM-PGGM, VolkerWessels and DIF participate with Boskalis and Van Oord as contractors) was awarded the project, with support from Royal HaskoningDHV among others.

Multidisciplinary team of experts

Royal HaskoningDHV played an important role during the tender phase, with a multidisciplinary team which included constructors, 3D designers and EMVI writers, as well as experts in saltwater and freshwater separation, fish migration, nautical aspects, dyke building and noise calculations.During the realisation phase, the emphasis of Royal HaskoningDHV’s operations is on design concrete construction of the lock walls and all other elements, slurry walls, combi walls and quay structures and the modelling of the lock bays. Royal HaskoningDHV is also responsible for calculating the level of noise generated during building.

Zeetoegang IJmond: a masterpiece

Soon, all the hard work will bear fruit: a new sea lock, which outshines its forerunners in every aspect. The biggest lock of the century, to last a century. A masterpiece that, for 100 years, will be able to withstand sharp rises in sea level and other weather and climate effects, will cope with heavy traffic (both on the road and in the water), and therefore play an important role in the economic development of Amsterdam and the North Sea Canal region.

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