The lock complex at Terneuzen is the main gateway to Terneuzen and Ghent in the port of North Sea Port. It is the main shipping connection between the Netherlands, Belgium and France and is a crucial link in the Seine-Scheldt connection. The construction of a new lock within the existing lock complex provides better access and smoother flow of the increasing maritime traffic for both inland and seagoing vessels.
With the new lock the capacity of the locks increases, reducing waiting time for inland vessels. After construction, the new lock will be as large as the locks in the Panama Canal, measuring 427m long, 55m wide and 16.44m deep. The lock is expected to accommodate large seagoing vessels up to 366m long, 49m wide and 15m deep. The first ship is set to sail through the new lock in 2024.
The project comprises the design and construction including two years of maintenance of a new lock within the existing lock facility Terneuzen. A crucial and limiting factor during construction of the new lock is that the current lock remains in operation. The scope also includes the implementation of a local lock control system and the preparation for remote lock control systems.
While constructing the new lock, the complete lock area is upgraded with new facilities to improve the accessibility and maintainability of the complex. For these purposes two bascule bridges, a new service port, a new building for the service port and a control building for the lock are built. Also several mooring piles are added. The underlying road network has been modified to improve accessibility to the lock area by land.
Both outer and inner harbour have been dredged to provide access to the lock. During maintenance phase, this depth needs to be maintained. The primary and regional water defenses have been modified to ensure high tide safety in the future as well.
Building the new lock led to the demolition of the old middle lock as part of the works. The old lock was systematically demolished using explosives.
DMC conducted the design and studies of the new lock including the design of a temporary channel to keep the old lock in service during construction of the new lock. The lock chamber contains two concrete caissons through which the water is levelled symmetrically. DMC performed the temporary works, stability calculations for immersion of these caissons and the design of a temporary public road bridge crossing the lock chamber to maintain access to Terneuzen.
DMC performed nautical safety studies and design for the construction phases, studies on wave forces acting on berthing facilities and a floating wave reduction construction. It also managed the 3D flow modelling study (performed by Svasek) determining currents in the outer harbour of the locks, caused by tide and outflow of the lock for governing construction phases. For this project 50m long diaphragm walls were designed in close cooperation between the design department, material technology department and BAM Funderingstechnieken. The diaphragm walls demonstrated a high quality performance and showed negligable damage after excavation.