At the construction site of the Vistula Spit ditch, the assembly of the first lock gate has begun. It is one of the largest structures of this type in Poland. The gates will prevent the mixing of the waters of the Vistula Lagoon and the Gulf of Gdańsk, informed the NDI company, which is implementing the investment.
In Nowy Świat near Kąty Rybackie, on the Vistula Spit, the construction of a shipping canal connecting the Bay of Gdańsk with the Vistula Lagoon is underway. The canal is to shorten the current waterway from the Bay of Gdańsk to the Vistula Lagoon, which now runs through the Pilawa Strait.
Ditch of the Vistula Spit – September 2021
In September, the assembly of the first lock gate began. According to the investor, i.e. the Maritime Office in Gdynia, the investment will not affect the salinity of the Vistula Lagoon.
“This is due to the technology used to build the shipping canal, which prevents uncontrolled mixing of waters and the sequence of works – first the lock, and then the dredging works in the northern and southern parts of the canal” – explained Andrzej Małkiewicz, head of the Investment Implementation Department at Gdynia Maritime Office.
As he pointed out, “also during the operation, after the shipping canal is put into use, there will be no free mixing of waters between the Bay of Gdańsk and the Vistula Lagoon”. “The differences in the water level between the reservoirs will be compensated within the lock, opened only during the flow of units” – added Małkiewicz.
In order to assemble the sluice gates, each of them was divided into six elements. Each item is shipped separately. First, it is welded in a prefabrication plant, then a trial assembly of all six segments takes place. Then they are divided again and transported to the area of the lock, where they will be built in.
“We have just started works related to the assembly of the steel structure of the first of the four gates. One of them is about 160 tons of steel structure. We installed the lower trolley, thanks to which we could start the works related to the assembly and integration of the airlock gate. After joining, the upper trolley will be installed. movement of the gate in the transverse direction to the lock, thanks to which it will be possible to close it when a ship enters it “- pointed out Paweł Ciomek, bridge works manager with the NDI / BESIX consortium, the general contractor of the investment.
The planned deadline for the construction of the lock is the first quarter of 2022. Then it will be flooded with water and all tests of tightness and mobility of the gates will be carried out.
Ditch of the Vistula Spit – map
As announced in the release, intensive work is also underway in the Bay of Gdańsk region. The driving of steel sheet piling in the main part of the eastern breakwater has already been completed. Ties are currently being put on. A stone rip-rap is also made and concrete blocks are placed. The substrate and leveling layer are made of concrete, as well as the superstructure on the western breakwater.
On the other hand, in the Vistula Lagoon, where an artificial island is being built, dredging works and the filling of the island’s dyke are in progress. In addition, the North Bridge is under construction all the time. The information provided shows that the assembly of the energy-consuming barrier as well as the hydraulic and electrical installations was completed, and the pavement was made on sidewalks and on the road. The bridge has been balanced. The twin south bridge was opened for traffic at the end of June this year.
The total length of the new waterway from the Bay of Gdańsk through the Vistula Lagoon to Elbląg is nearly 23 kilometers, of which approximately 2.5 km is a section consisting of a lock, an external port and a parking stand. The canal and the entire fairway will be 5 meters deep.
Main photo source: press mat. NDI