(Translation of original press release published by Rijkswaterstaat on 13 November 2018:) A major milestone has been achieved in the construction of the new IJmuiden sea lock, with the successful immersion of the caisson for the outer lock head into its final position. The caisson, in and out of which the lock gates will slide, is the size of an apartment building, 80 metres long, 26 metres wide and 22 metres high. Over recent months it has been immersed centimetre by centimetre to the right depth, in a controlled manner, as planned.
The caisson was sunk into the ground using remote-controlled robotic arms to remove the underlying sand. This fully automated process was monitored 24/7 using sensors, measuring instruments and cameras installed underneath the caisson. The next step will be to fill the space beneath the caisson with concrete.
In 2019, the inner lock head caisson – measuring 80 metres long, 55 metres wide and 25 metres high - will be immersed into its final position using the same method.
Work has been underway in IJmuiden since 2016 to construct the world’s largest sea lock, which will accommodate increasingly large seagoing vessels. The new lock, which will be 500 metres long, 70 metres wide and 18 metres deep, is a joint project between the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, the province of Noord-Holland, the municipality of Amsterdam, Port of Amsterdam and the municipality of Velsen. Commissioned by Rijkswaterstaat, the new sea lock is being built by contracting consortium, OpenIJ.