28 August 2020

Vistula Spit project – August report

Work is in progress on the project “Construction of a waterway connecting the Vistula Lagoon with the Gulf of Gdańsk”. Currently, a shield port is being built in the area of the Gulf of Gdańsk (Western and Eastern breakwater). 65% of the work on the western breakwater has already been completed and the sinking of this structure should be completed in September. Tenaille and cribs will also be mounted on it, the structure will be backfilled with sand and then with a stone cover.

– Work is currently under way on the marine section of the western breakwater – says Bartosz Zabłocki, hydrotechnical works manager from NDI/Besix consortium. We are building a cofferdam, or a row of two walls. In the near future we plan to start main dredging works, allowing us to accept ships from Scandinavia with hydrotechnical stone, which will be used to build stone cover on the east and westbreakwater.

Deliveries of stone will go to construction not only from Scandinavia. Stone deliveries from Polish quarries in the south of the country are already under way. The majority of suppliers and subcontractors working on the construction site are Polish companies, often originating from the region. A concrete junction was located on the construction site to reduce transport on local roads as much as possible. Work on the shipping channel is proceeding according to schedule. In the northern and southern parts of the channel under construction, earthworks are being carried out and successive walls are being plunged. In the place of the lock, a tight screen is created in the jet-grouting technology (blast injection – a process of strengthening the ground, consisting in mixing the soil with pressurized slurry).

The currently implemented stage of the investment also includes two rotary bridges, enabling continuous maintenance of car traffic, regardless of the ships flowing through the channel. From the beginning, one of the assumptions was to ensure the priority of road traffic in the shipping channel area. Of the two, the southern bridge is more advanced, with the first cars planned to pass through in the middle of next year, before the start of the tourist season. Reinforced concrete works on it are being finished and foundation benches have been started.

 All the supports for the southern bridge have already been completed – says Mariusz Janczewski, deputy director of the NDI/Besix consortium contract. The final reinforced concrete works related to the execution of wings and back walls on the edge supports are in progress. In the near future, we plan to start reinforced concrete works on the northern facility.

Work is already under way to create a steel structure for the bridge’s supporting structure, and the first elements should arrive at the construction site at the turn of September and October.

The Harbourmaster’s building is also being constructed. Here, masonry work on the ground floor and reinforced concrete work on the ceilings is carried out. Much is also happening with the new road system under construction: excavations, embankments, humus laying on slopes, stabilization – these are the works already done, which will also continue in the following weeks.

On the side of the artificial island being built on the Vistula Lagoon, there are successive steel sheet piling walls, which determine its future shape. In September, the installation of the wall strippers and the extraction works will start.

– From week to week you can see the changes and the progress of the work as planned. Hydraulic engineering structures, connected with sinking sheet piling walls, will eventually amount to about 16 thousand running metres, while the total volume of earthworks will amount to about 3 million cubic metres. The Maritime Office in Gdynia, which is the investor of the whole project, is currently waiting for the tender to be awarded for the second part of the construction of the waterway, namely the enclosure of the Elbląg River together with the new bridge in Nowakowo. Today, offers will be opened for the supply of a suction-refilling hopper dredger, which is to work on the maintenance of the fairway and also be used in other places administered by our office – says Captain Wiesław Piotrzkowski, Director of the Maritime Office in Gdynia.

Let us remind you that the current stage of the investment includes the construction of a shield port from the side of the Gulf of Gdańsk, the construction of a shipping channel with a lock and the construction of closures with waiting stations from the side of the Gulf of Gdańsk and the Vistula Lagoon, the construction of a new road system with rotating steel-structure bridges that will enable the passage over the channel before and after the lock; the construction of an artificial island located on the Vistula Lagoon. The shipping channel is to be about 1 km long and 5 metres deep. The total length of the new waterway is 22,800 m.

The execution time of the contract concluded between the Maritime Office in Gdynia and the Polish-Belgian consortium NDI/Besix is 32 months from signing the contract (it took place on 4 October 2019 at the Elbląg Port Authority).


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