A Safe Inland Waterway Voyage
The largest monumental inland waterway lock in the Netherlands, the Princess Beatrix Lock, is to be expanded after 77 years. Due to the increasing number of large ships passing through this lock, a third chamber will be constructed and the Lek Canal will be widened in the vicinity of Nieuwegein. After completion of the construction works, long waiting times will be a thing of the past. Ships will then be able to use three lock chambers instead of two.
The Princess Beatrix Lock is a national monument dating from 1938 and can be seen from far and wide. The new third chamber will not be installed with lift gates and has been designed to retain the original appearance of the monumental lift gates. The landscape design is by H+N+S.
The third chamber will be installed with double (lock) rolling doors. These will ensure that the lock remains operational when a lock door is defect (e.g. during maintenance or following a collision). When only the outer doors are used, the chamber is 297m long, creating sufficient space for the lockage of two ships of 135m each. This is called ‘lockage XL’.
To avoid disruption, the third chamber will be constructed first, followed by the renovation of the two existing chambers. During the construction work, two chambers will be available at all times, except during the installation of the dam walls and the monitoring equipment, and during testing of the lock complex. Other works will be carried out away from the shipping route to minimize disruption to the ships.
Widening of the Lek Canal
The Lek Canal will be widened to create space for the new chamber and lock approaches; the Lek Dyke and the Linie Dyke on the east side of the canal will be moved further east. The canal will also be widened to the north of the Schalkwijksche Wetering. Additional berths for overnight stays will be created for ships.
The consortium Sas van Vreeswijk is responsible for the design, realization, financing and the maintenance of the Beatrix Lock for a period of 27 years. The Besix Group, RebelValley, TDP, Heijmans and Jan de Nul are responsible for financing. The design and the realization will be carried out by Heijmans, Jan de Nul and Besix. For the 27-year maintenance period, Agidens and Martens van Oord are also jointly responsible.