The lock complex at Terneuzen is the gateway to the ports of Terneuzen and Ghent, and it is a vital link in the shipping routes between the Netherlands, Belgium and France. The new lock to be built near Terneuzen provides better access for shipping between the Scheldt river and the Ghent-Terneuzen canal. The new locks will allow larger sea-going vessels to sail on to the port of Ghent. Lock capacity will increase, reducing the waiting time for inland shipping. The new lock will provide an economic boost for both Zeeland and the Flemish region.
Deltares conducted several studies looking at the construction of the lock complex: a geo-archaeological survey, a GeoRisicoScan and a study that looked at levelling and the impact of the wave load on the lock gates.
The extension of the complex involves excavation and digging in an area that is extremely rich archaeologically and so we conducted a preliminary geo-archaeological survey that provided the Flemish-Dutch Scheldt Committee, the project organisation, with an accurate picture at an early stage of the most promising archaeological locations. The benefit is a major reduction in unexpected delays and high costs during the construction of the new lock.
The GeoRisicoScan was conducted to allow informed choices in the design process and to upgrade geotechnical risk management by the design team.
We used numerical models and scale-model testing to look at the forces on ships during levelling. The results show what is possible in terms of sailing smoothly and safely through the new lock and they will be incorporated in the reference design for the tender.