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Full speed ahead in the Zaan

Wilhelminasluis Zaandam

8 April 2013
25 million
Province of Noord-Holland

The Wilhelminasluis lock is the most important intersection of roads and water in the centre of Zaandam. We are updating this junction by widening the lock and two bridges. Once again, canal traffic with a load capacity of up to 3,000 tons will be able to travel back and forth through the lock between the Zaan and Voorzaan. Access by water will be improved thereby reducing road transport.

Special for five reasons

1. Another 100 years

Now that ships are wider and sit deeper in the water, the Wilhelminasluis which was constructed in 1903 is due for an update. The width of the lock will increase from 12 to 14 metres. Wider locks also means wider bridges. So this is why we are also replacing the Wilhelminabrug and the Beatrixbrug bridges.

2. Art on the fence

We asked the school children who cycle over the Wilhelminabrug every day to decorate the site fences with their own works of art. As a result we have the prettiest site fence in the whole of the Netherlands. This is just one of the ways we are making the project as pleasant as possible for our neighbours.

3. Re-use

We will re-use as much as we can. Such as the bridges’ bascule cellars where the counterweights for the bridge deck are housed.

4. Limited disruption

The Wilhelminasluis, Beatrixbrug and Wilhelminabrug together make up the most important intersection of roads and water through Zaandam. Clever planning has ensured that the obstruction of canal and road traffic is as short as possible, keeping the disruption to a minimum.

5. Proven method

Not all of the original blueprints for the Wilhelminasluis are still available. Over the course of the work we are therefore discovering how the lock and bridges were constructed. The use of proven and simple methods, means we can avoid having too many surprises so that we can stay on schedule.