The third Princess Beatrix lock near Utrecht in the Netherlands has been opened, enabling the first official passage of ships through the lock.
The lock was inaugurated by the Dutch Princess Beatrix in the presence of the Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management, Cora van Nieuwenhuizen on February 6, 2019.
The official opening of the lock closes a construction period of 2.5 years. Since September 2016, Jan De Nul Group, as part of the Joint Venture Sas van Vreeswijk, has been working on the construction of the third lock.
According to Jan De Nul, the two lock heads are each 30 x 60 meters. Each lock head contains two lock gates, each weighing 490,000 kilos and measuring 28 meters wide, 14 meters high and 6.25 meters thick.
In total, 44,875 cubic meters of concrete and 17,900 tons of reinforcement were used to build this new lock. Sas van Vreeswijk was responsible for the excavation of 2 million cubic meters in order to widen the access to the locks.
After the inauguration, the new lock will gradually come into service.
From March until summer 2019, the two old locks will be closed for renovation works. In the meantime, the Lek Canal will be further deepened.
In the autumn of 2019 all maintenance work will be completed and all three locks will be fully operational.