9 October 2020

Vistula Spit project – report

Work is in progress on the project “Construction of a waterway connecting the Vistula Lagoon with the Gulf of Gdańsk”. Currently, in the area of the Gulf of Gdańsk, a deepening of the basin is being carried out in the area of the shield port basin, so that ships can deliver hydrotechnical stone from Scandinavia. Stone layers are being laid on the section of the western and eastern breakwater base. The production of concrete prefabricated elements, so called X-blocks, which will protect the breakwaters against waves is in progress. A sheet pile wall is plunged into the area of the lock and lock gate pockets, and a tightness cover is made under the bottom of the lock. Excavations in this area are under way, along with embankments for the future roads being created, and the slopes being reinforced. Reinforced concrete work has been completed on the southern bridge, and a working platform is currently being constructed to merge the steel structure.

-The Vistula Spit Crosscut is a strategic investment for our country. I am very happy that Minister Marek Gróbarczyk has prepared and is implementing it. Thanks to it, Elbląg and the surrounding ports, as well as the whole Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship will gain new development opportunities. These opportunities also result from road investments, such as the S7 and S16 roads, as well as rail investments: in railway lines and stations. Together we are building a coherent communication network and connecting Poland to make the development of our country sustainable and fair –said the Minister of Infrastructure Andrzej Adamczyk.

Two swivel bridges will be built over the canal, enabling continuous maintenance of car traffic, regardless of the ships flowing through the new waterway. From the beginning, one of the assumptions was to ensure the priority of road traffic in the shipping channel area. The total length of the new waterway from the Gulf of Gdańsk through the Vistula Lagoon to Elbląg will be nearly 23 kilometres. The passage through the Vistula Lagoon itself will be a little over 10 km, on the Elbląg River – also over 10 km, and the remaining approx. 2.5 km is a section which will consist of a sluice and an external port and a parking place. The channel will be 5 m deep.

-The bridge facilities will serve to improve communication between the eastern and western part of the Vistula Spit – says Dominik Wróblewski, Site Manager from the NDI/Besix consortium, the general contractor. The bridge structures are constructed in steel. The span length is 62 meters, width 17 meters. They are rotary bridges. When the vessel passes through the shipping channel, the bridge will turn perpendicular to the shipping channel.

An artificial island is made on the Vistula Lagoon. The sheet pile walls forming its envelope are being plunged. Ties are installed and the cofferdam is gradually filled in.

– Works in autumn and winter will continue on schedule. On 26 September 2020, a foundation stone laying ceremony was held on the construction site in the foundation bench of the north bridge support. The tube with the erection act was built into the bridgehead under construction. On the same day, a meeting of the Maritime Convention was held at the construction site to discuss the investment. Convention members and invited guests (including representatives of Polish technical universities) listened to the presentation of the Investor – Maritime Office in Gdynia and the Main Contractor – NDI/BESIX Consortium – this is Captain of Maritime Transport Wiesław Piotrzkowski, Director of the Maritime Office in Gdynia.

The next few weeks will see the continuation of dredging work in the Gulf of Gdańsk in the shield port and the execution of stone surcharges. By the end of this year, the walls within the whole Shipping Channel will have been sunk, and from October onwards, micro-piles and dehydration are being installed. Also, reinforced concrete works are being commenced. Similarly, micro piles and drainage are installed in the lock area. Additionally, a jet-grouting screen is made there. Trenches in the canal area will continue to be excavated up to the order of 0.0 (earthworks) and dredging will start early next year. In November, the assembly of the steel structure of the southern bridge is to begin, and reinforced concrete works will be carried out on the northern bridge, insulation of abutment walls and backfill. By the end of November, the harbourmaster’s building will be ready in its raw state.

Construction of the canal on the Vistula Spit according to the schedule should be completed in 2022.

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