1 June 2020

Digging through the Vistula Spit

Currently, works related to the driving of the sheet piling of the southern quay are continued in the Gulf of Gdańsk. A 250-metre-long section has already been completed. The driving of the sheet piling at the base of the western breakwater was completed – its length is 230 metres. Now its main part is underway, for which floating equipment will be used.
The construction of the eastern breakwater has also commenced, currently works are being carried out on the first 7 sections from the land side (driving steel sheet piling).

The Contractor – the NDI/Besix consortium – is working on the so-called landing (as well as dredging from the water side) of the protective harbour and, in particular, the southern quay. It will be used to collect the supplies of hydrotechnical stone for the construction of breakwaters. The total weight of steel sheet piling necessary to perform works at sea is 4.5 thousand tonnes.
‘Earthworks are carried out in the area of the shipping channel. The material obtained from the works is stored in heaps in the excavation area, and in the future, it will be used to make an envelope of the artificial island and landing of the southern quay area,’ says Jacek Szymański, Project Director from the NDI/Besix consortium. ‘Under the future bridges, works related to the foundation of the structures, consisting in driving the prefabricated piles, have been completed. Reinforced concrete works in the scope of supports of the southern bridge are underway.

Budowa Kanału Żeglugowego przez Mierzeję Wiślaną – maj 2020 – NDI/BESIX from Grupa NDI on Vimeo.

|The structure will be launched as the first one in the spring of 2021, due to the need to maintain continuity of traffic on Voivodeship Road 501 and to enable work on the shipping channel.’
From the side of the Vistula Lagoon, the construction of a temporary dike was completed along with the construction of a temporary transhipment quay built of steel sheet piles installed into the ground (poured sand). This quay will be used to reload the materials needed to build the island. The area around the island was cleaned of ferromagnetic materials. The transport of soil obtained from the excavation to the area where the island will be built has begun.

The Contractor began works related to strengthening the slopes of the excavations of the shipping channel using cellular geosynthetics (geogrids) and topsoiling along with sowing a grass mixture. 600 trees and shrubs were secured as a part of the contract. The humus removal in the work area was completed and newt fencing was made along the entire canal.

In the coming weeks, works on driving sheet piling on breakwaters as well as dredging works in the vicinity of the protective harbour from the side of the Gulf of Gdańsk will continue. Further micro piles will also be made along the southern quay and along the sheet piling on the eastern and western breakwaters. The driving of steel sheet piling in the scope of the emerging shipping channel will start soon. Material obtained from the canal will be transported to the area of the island. A temporary technical base for the implementation of works will be constructed on the island under construction. Foundation works on the administrative building intended for the services of the Maritime Office in Gdynia will commence.

The currently implemented agreement covers the first of three parts into which the investment entitled “Construction of a waterway connecting the Vistula Lagoon with the Gulf of Gdańsk” was divided.

‘We announced a tender for the second stage on April 24 this year. This part will include the Elbląg River along with its protection structures and embankments. A new bridge will also be built in Nowakowo with a length of 104 metres as well as an accompanying section of road with a length of 1550 metres. This bridge will be built 650 metres from the existing pontoon bridge, which due to its construction periodically hinders navigation in this area,’ says Master Mariner Wiesław Piotrzkowski, Director of the Maritime Office in Gdynia.
On Friday, May 29 this year, the Maritime Office in Gdynia has also announced another tender related to the construction of the waterway connecting the Vistula Lagoon with the Gulf of Gdańsk, namely for the supply of a trailing suction hopper dredger. The purchase is intended for future protection of the canal parameters. However, the dredger will also be used in other areas (Vistula Lagoon, Bay of Puck) to maintain and improve navigation depth parameters for ports and marinas. The dredger will have a pollution collection system to increase ecological safety in areas not yet protected in this way.

The total length of the new waterway will be 22,880 km (including the passage over the Vistula Lagoon – 10,176 km; Elbląg River – 10,381 km; the remaining 2,323 km are a section of the berth, lock and the external port), and its depth is 5 m. It is planned that vessels up to 100 metres long and up to 20 metres wide will be able to enter the port in Elbląg in the future. The construction of the channel through the Vistula Spit is to be completed in 2022. The investor is the Maritime Office in Gdynia, and the contractor for the first, currently implemented part of the investment, the consortium of NDI/Besix.

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