Kieldrecht Lock

The construction of this second lock at Waaslandhaven was a gigantic project. With a length of 500 metres and width of 68 metres, it is one of the largest locks in the world. The construction of the lock, bridges and appurtenances took 22,000 tons of structural steel, almost three times more than the 7300 tons of steel used to construct the Eiffel tower.

The dimensions of the lock:

  • width of 68 metres
  • length between the outer gates of 500 metres
  • bottom of the lock lies at – 17.80 metres SGL

The lock has an upstream and a downstream “head” with 2 lock gates per head. The lock gates are integrated in the lock chambers when they are opened. There are two bascule bridges at the ends of the lock. The counterweight of the bascule bridges moves in the bridge void. There is a lock chamber in which the vessels sit when they are being transshipped. The lock chamber consists of L-shaped concrete walls and a floor constructed using concrete slabs approximately 10 * 10 m² and ranging from 1.30 m to 2 m thick. The lock chamber is filled and emptied by means of 2 short and 2 long loop culverts installed around the heads. The loop culverts are sealed off by means of wheel gates. The transverse walls (L-shaped concrete walls) are situated at the entrance to the lock at the Deurganck dock. The access channel is bordered by Danish type transverse walls and quay walls alongside the Waasland canal. There are two pipe tunnels under the lock for internal pipes and cables (one per head) and a central pipe tunnel for public utilities. A sludge extractor was built to remove sludge from the Waasland canal and deposit it at the Deurganck dock.

There is also electromechanical equipment for actuating and operating the bridges, lock gates and wheel gates and signalling for maritime, road and rail traffic. The contract also included the construction of eleven buildings including the central control building and the central technical building (with high-voltage cubicles, an emergency generator, battery room, etc.).

A few facts and figures:

  • Earth moving: 10 million m³ of earth had to be moved in order to build the lock, approximately 5 million m³ of which were moved during the excavation of the construction pit and approximately 5 million m³ during dredging.
  • Concrete structures:  755,000 m³ of reinforced concrete was used which would fill a football pitch to a height of 83 metres.
  • Structural steel: construction of the lock, bridges and appurtenances took 22,000 tons of structural steel which is three times the amount of steel required to construct the Eiffel tower.

Click here to view the timelapse footage of the lock construction.

  • Project name

    Kieldrecht Lock
  • Location

    Port of Antwerp
  • Building period

    2011 - 2016
  • Total value

    +/- 373 M €