IJmuiden Sea Lock

After almost 100 years in operation, the northern lock in IJmuiden will be replaced with a new, larger lock system to improve the accessibility of the port of Amsterdam.

In connection with the approaching end of the technical lifespan and the arrival of the end of the economic life of the Noordersluis (North Lock), a new lock is needed. The new IJmond sea entrance is part of Rijkswaterstaat’s Locks Programme. The new lock will stimulate the local economy by offering space to the growing number of ships, independent of the tidal levels. It will be 70 meters wide, 500 meters long, and 18 meters deep.

There is an explicit wish to construct the new lock earlier than scheduled (2019 instead of 2029) in the Multi-Year Programme for Infrastructure, Spatial Planning and Transport (Meerjarenprogramma Infrastructuur Ruimte en Transport (MIRT)). The scale of increase in navigation makes it furthermore desirable to construct a new lock that is wider than the existing Noordersluis. This will simultaneously increase the capacity of the lock complex. This desire came after a study was undertaken in 2007/2008, which concluded that the solution could be found in the construction of a new and larger lock.

The project is multidisciplinary. The most important work involved in the project includes:

  • the design and construction of a new sea lock (with dimensions of at least 500x65x18m) to replace the existing Noordersluis (400x50x13m) and provision for road traffic in accordance with stated provisions;
  • the design and construction of other modifications in the project area (waiting pontoons and channel) to enable safe and easy navigation through the new lock;
  • to make the project area free of obstruction;
  • the planning and performance of Maintenance on the new lock and waiting pontoons for approximately 26 years;
  • the upkeep of the primary water-retaining structure in accordance with the Dutch Water Act is an important element of the work; and
  • after the commissioning of the new sea lock, the Noordersluis shall be removed from service and, if necessary, used for emergencies.

The contract was awarded to the OpenIJ consortium which consists of BAM PPP PGGM, VolkerWessels, and DIF. Construction activities will be carried out by a BAM Infra and VolkerWessels joint venture. The work commenced in early 2016 with the new lock available for shipping at the end of 2019. The dredging activities will be carried out by subcontractors Van Oord and Boskalis. The new lock will then be maintained by OpenIJ for 26 years.