The construction of the sea lock at IJmuiden will be completed this summer. Rijkswaterstaat will then have the lock completed and a period of testing will begin. The lock can then be put into use at the beginning of next year. Construction started in 2016.
In the coming period, the builders of the lock, construction companies BAM and Volker Wessels, will be busy testing all the systems. If the lock is working properly, it will be completed. This is followed by a period of testing for the people who have to work with the lock, such as the lock keepers, pilots and boatmen. The latter are people who moor the ships in the lock. Sea-going vessels will also be used for these tests, which are planned for the autumn.
Originally, the new lock should have been put into operation at the end of 2019. However, construction was delayed due to a construction error. Fixing that mistake cost BAM and VolkerWessels hundreds of millions of euros.
The new lock, which was named Zeesluis IJmuiden after a competition, will be the largest in the world with a length of 500 meters. The lock is to replace the current Noordersluis, which was built in 1929 and will reach the end of its technical life in 2029. Moreover, the lock has become too small for some of the current seagoing vessels.
The total costs were estimated at €848 million. The central government, the province of Noord-Holland and the municipality of Amsterdam will all contribute financially to the project, but approximately 65% will be paid by the central government. Mind you that province and Amsterdam also exist on taxpayers money as well, so the score is in reality 100%.
There is a lot criticism about spending so much taxpayer money. In Rotterdam there are no costly delays due to the lock and extra costs for sea and canal pilots. Rotterdam is only 40 km away from Amsterdam. It all seems to be a matter of egos. The number of sea going ships arriving in Amsterdam is about 7.500 and inland waterway ships about 40.000. For Rotterdam the figures are 30.000 and 100.000.