Published: December 13th, 2017

The new sea lock being constructed in IJmuiden is an extraordinary project. Rijkswaterstaat, the national agency responsible for public works and water management in the Netherlands, awarded the contract for its construction to the OpenIJ consortium. With a length of 500 metres and a width of 70 metres, it will be the largest sea lock in the world.

In early 2017, Sterk installed sheet piling for a temporary landing wharf, but the real work only started this autumn! For a temporary flood barrier we had to install piles of no less than 27 metres in length. To make it even more challenging, these piles had to be put in place with our Silent Piler using the ‘press-in’ technique – and all this at 7 metres above sea level. This meant that, depending on the tide, the press-in machine would be suspended at between 6 and 8 metres above the water.

The first piles were installed using a starting frame. This frame was loaded with several tons of ballast so that the machine had sufficient power to press the piles into the ground. After the first piles had been put into place, the Silent Piler could be clamped onto the piles already in position and continue its work.

And as if that weren’t complex enough, there was more to come. The sheet piling also had to be lengthened. In other words, the sheet piles already in place had to be extended by welding on an extra piece of sheet piling. And all this had to be done in line with execution class III under the EN 1090 standard. Without special measures in situ it would not have been possible to meet these stringent welding requirements. For that reason, for this job, Sterk Metaal produced a special welding container which could be positioned on the sheet piling. In this way it was possible to work under the proper conditions.

Project details

  • Contractor: OpenIJ
  • Location: IJmuiden (NL)
  • Contract value: € 250.000 - 1.000.000
  • Start date: August 2017
  • End date: November 2017

Techniques used

(Pre-)drilling, Construction work, Fluidisation, High-frequency vibration/extraction, In-water work, Specialist techniques, Static driving

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