Record-breaking beginning of spring on the Spit
The closing of the artificial island’s perimeter is soon approaching. Any day, the erratic works will start there. The hydrotechnical stone that is needed for this purpose will come from Elbląg. Works are underway also on both breakwaters, where it will soon be possible to continue to drive sheet piling.
“Works on the cross-cutting of the Vistula Spit have already reached the halfway point and are proceeding as planned. This undertaking is yet another proof that, at the difficult time of the epidemic, public investments fuel the economy and contribute to the good condition of the Polish market,” said Minister of Infrastructure Andrzej Adamczyk.
In mid-March, the weather was good enough to resume construction works in the area of the artificial island. Winter, though more severe than in the previous year, turned out to be kind. After the ice thawed, no damage was found on the previously constructed structure.
“The beginning of spring is the time for us when we have broken records. It turned out that in March, although we only worked for two weeks (on the artificial island), we managed to install 136 underwater ties,” says Paweł Śpiewak, Head of Hydrotechnical Works from the NDI/Besix consortium. ”Apart from that, we drove 570 linear metres of the cofferdam sheet piling, which is also our new record. The total progress of pile driving works is approx. 66 percent. Soon we will close the artificial island’s perimeter”.
In addition, dredging, silting and earth works are carried out inside the cofferdam. The commencement of the erratic works is planned for the second half of April. The hydrotechnical stone will be transported by water from Elbląg.
“The construction of a new waterway through the Vistula Spit activates the Port of Elbląg already at this stage. Its terminals are used for the storage and, soon, transport of materials necessary for the implementation of the investment. All hydrotechnical stone needed to cover the artificial island will be delivered by water, on barges, from the Port of Elbląg,” said Master Mariner Wiesław Piotrzkowski, Director of the Maritime Office in Gdynia.
Work is also in progress on the western and eastern breakwaters.
“Taking advantage of favourable weather conditions, we are continuing reinforced concrete works on both breakwaters. We carry out works related to the laying of hydrotechnical stone, as well as the protective layer using Xbloc plus prefabricated elements,” lists Anna Kosmaczewska-Lemańska, Head of the Technical Department of the NDI/Besix consortium. ”On the eastern breakwater, the protective layer will be laid over a distance of 900 metres, and on the western breakwater, the prefabricated elements will be laid over a distance of 300 metres.”
In mid-April, the contractor plans to continue, after the winter break, to drive sheet piling on both breakwaters in the area of the cofferdam, as well as the head of the breakwater. Work related to the driving of pipe piles will also be continued.
“Despite the fact that we are ahead of the schedule, in order to fully secure the works, the contractor is strengthening its forces and is currently importing additional, specialised equipment for the implementation of works both from land and water,” added Andrzej Małkiewicz, Deputy Representative of the Director of the Maritime Office in Gdynia for Investment Implementation.
Prefabricated concrete elements of the Xbloc plus type are stored in the storage yard. Approx. 10 thousands of these elements are needed to complete the entire investment.
Intensive works are also carried out in the area of the shipping channel. Completed works include, among others, the construction of the caps’ elements necessary for the construction of a temporary port – these are two walls, each approximately 340 metres long. In addition, micropiles have been made and the driving of sheet piling on the channel has been completed (except for the area of road 501). Additionally, dredging works are being carried out in the northern part.
Meanwhile, excavations were completed in the lock, lean concrete was made, two walls were concreted in the pocket of the southern gate and the bottom slab of the lock was made – two out of seven sections were concreted.
Work is also underway on both bridges. In the southern bridge, among other things, counterweights were installed. The technological joints were protected against corrosion. The surface of the structure was prepared for the construction of the road and pavements. Hydraulics components are currently being installed.
In turn, on the northern bridge, the first elements of the steel structure were delivered – counterweights and the so-called royal bearing. Hydraulic works are in progress and the connection of the steel structure of the superstructure will begin soon.
In the building of the Harbourmaster’s Office, works related to the installation of internal systems and finishing the rooms are underway.