12 May 2020

Vistula spit project – work progress

Works on the investment “Construction of a Waterway Connecting the Vistula Lagoon with the Gulf of Gdańsk” are underway. Today, that is on May 12, 2020, the construction site was visited by Grzegorz Witkowski, Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation. He was accompanied by representatives of the contractor – Małgorzata Winiarek-Gajewska, President of the Management Board of NDI, Dominik Wróblewski, Construction Manager of the NDI/BESIX Consortium and of the investor – Wiesław Piotrzkowski, Director of the Maritime Office in Gdynia.

“The strategic investment for the Polish state is proceeding smoothly, according to the schedule. I have seen the progress of work; thanks to the investor and the general contractor, everything is done in a manner ensuring safety of employees in terms of OHS as well as epidemiological safety, which is currently especially important. A lot of Polish subcontractors work on this construction site. This investment is strategic because of the economic stimulation not only of Elbląg and this part of Poland but, I dare say, this part of Europe. Mild winter and good weather mean that this progress is undisturbed,” said Minister Grzegorz Witkowski.

Currently, works related to the driving of the sheet piling of the southern quay are continued in the Gulf of Gdańsk. These works are completed in over 50%. In turn, the driving of the sheet piling at the base of the western breakwater was completed. The Contractor – the NDI/Besix consortium – is working on the so-called landing of the transhipment port. It will be used to collect the supplies of hydrotechnical stone for the construction of breakwaters.

“We strive to minimise the need for transport by land, hence the construction of this quay, as the first element enabling transport of stone, bulk materials, which will have to be transported to the construction site in large quantities. It is our concern and effort to ensure that transport-related activities that are burdensome for the residents are really as limited as possible,” said Małgorzata Winiarek-Gajewska, President of the Management Board of NDI.

Earthworks are underway 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. Escarpments are secured here, on the eastern and western part of the digging. The embankment works under the bridges have already been completed and the embankment works on the constructed roads are continued. Prefabricated piles have also been installed under the future bridges, and reinforced concrete works under the foundations began.

From the side of the Vistula Lagoon, the construction of a temporary dike and driving of the sheet piling for the temporary quay were completed. This quay will be used to reload the materials needed to build the island. The area around the artificial island is currently being cleaned of ferromagnetic materials.

Drills for power and teletechnical networks have been completed on the investment site. By the end of the month, reconstruction of all medium-voltage and teletechnical network clashes will be completed. Network switching is currently underway.

What is ahead of us? In the following weeks, the driving of the sheet piling of the southern quay will be completed, and the driving of the western breakwater will begin. Dredging works will also be carried out. In the channel area, preparations for the construction of the lock will begin. “The first deliveries of sheet piling for the construction of the shipping channel lock are planned next week. In June, the mobilisation of equipment and commencement of works on first sheet piling in the lock area are planned,” says Dominik Wróblewski, Construction Manager of the NDI/BESIX Consortium.

Earthworks and reinforced concrete works will also be continued. In the area of the Vistula Lagoon, water transport of materials for building the island will begin.

The currently implemented contract covers the first of three parts into which the investment “Construction of the Waterway Connecting the Vistula Lagoon with the Gulf of Gdańsk” was divided.

During the visit to the construction site, Wiesław Piotrzkowski, Director of the Maritime Office in Gdynia said: “This waterway is a transition of the maritime administration from our period of one hundred years of history, which started on April 2, 1920, to the present times. We announced the tender for the second stage on April 24th this year, most likely the bids will be opened on June 22nd. This stage includes the Elbląg River with its protection structures and embankments. We will also build a third bridge, the 104-metre-long bridge in Nowakowo. In addition, a section of road with a length of 1,550 metres, which will connect this part of the poviat road and serve the residents. The bridge will be located 650 metres from the existing pontoon bridge. In addition to these hydraulic engineering and road investments, we plan to make beacons. The whole will be connected in the future by the third section, the passage over the Vistula Lagoon.

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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