IJmuiden Sea Lock

After almost 100 years in operation, the northern lock in IJmuiden was set to be replaced with a new, larger lock system to improve the accessibility of the port of Amsterdam. Following the approaching end of the technical lifespan and economic life of the Noordersluis (North Lock) in Amsterdam, a new lock was needed.

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The challenge

After a study, undertaken in 2007/2008, which concluded that the solution could be found in the construction of a new and larger lock, there was an explicit wish to construct the new lock earlier than scheduled. The scale of increase in navigation made it further desirable to construct a new lock wider than the existing Noordersluis to simultaneously increase the capacity of the lock complex.

Therefore the project was planned for 2019 instead of 2029 in a Multi-Year Programme for Infrastructure, Spatial Planning and Transport (Meerjarenprogramma Infrastructuur Ruimte en Transport (MIRT)).

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Maarten van der Bent
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The solution

The multidisciplinary project included:

  • the design and construction of a new sea lock (with dimensions of at least 500x65x18m) to replace the existing Noordersluis (400x50x13m) and provision for road traffic in accordance with stated provisions
  • the design and construction of other modifications in the project area (waiting pontoons and channel) to enable safe and easy navigation through the new lock
  • to make the project area free of obstruction
  • the planning and performance of Maintenance on the new lock and waiting pontoons for approximately 26 years
  • the upkeep of the primary water-retaining structure in accordance with the Dutch Water Act is an important element of the work
  • removal of the Noordersluis from service after the commissioning of the new sea lock.

The contract was awarded to the OpenIJ consortium which consisted of Invesis (then BAM PPP PGGM), VolkerWessels, and DIF. Construction activities were carried out by a BAM Infra and VolkerWessels joint venture. The work commenced in early 2016 with the new lock available for shipping at the end of 2019. The dredging activities were carried out by subcontractors Van Oord and Boskalis. The new lock will be maintained by OpenIJ for 26 years.


contract duration



Invesis (50%), Volker Wessels and DIF (50%)