21 March 2022

What is new on the construction site of the Vistula Spit Crosscut?

Most recent progress of the works on the construction site of the Vistula Spit Crosscut is related to dredging works and stone riprap in the protective harbours in the Gulf of Gdańsk as well as installation of hydrotechnical equipment in the lock, the test runs of the second swing bridge and the further building of the artificial island on the Lagoon. The new shipping channel is expected to be ready later this year.

The construction of the Vistula Spit Crosscut is the main part of the new waterway between the Vistula Lagoon and the Gulf of Gdańsk. The investment includes the construction of a protective harbour on the side of the Gulf of Gdańsk, as well as a shipping channel with a lock, its closures and berths for vessels (on both sides), the construction of a new road system with two swing bridges and an artificial island on the Vistula Lagoon. The investor is the Maritime Office in Gdynia, and the General Contractor is the consortium of NDI and Besix.

“Regarding the protective harbour, dredging works are underway in the eastern part, a riprap of crushed rock gravel is being made, “x-block plus” concrete blocks are laid and the subgrade and concrete levelling layer are being made, as well as the superstructure,” lists Jacek Szymański, Project Director from the NDI/Besix consortium. “In the western part, apart from similar tasks, the bulkhead is additionally backfilled and the separation geotextile is laid.”

The lock gates are being built

No less happens in the area of the shipping channel, where in the southern part the assembly of hydrotechnical equipment has just been completed, and in the northern part all reinforced concrete works have been carried out. The assembly of fendering and dredging works are still in progress. The ramps for animals are now ready – two on each bank, 5-metre-wide and 22-metre-long.

In the lock itself, which is the heart of this investment, hydrotechnical assembly is ongoing and works are being carried out at both the northern and southern gates. It is a key infrastructure – it will help deal with the difference in water levels in the Gulf and the Lagoon.

In addition, works are still being carried out on the construction of a new road system, thanks to which ship traffic will not paralyse the car traffic. It will be possible due to two swing bridges unique on a national scale. One of them, the northern bridge, has been in use since last summer. On the other hand, the southern bridge is undergoing a rotary mechanism tests.

The sheet piling of the artificial island in the final stage

“We also carry out intensive works in the area of the artificial island. We have completed the dredging works related to the removal of silt from the inside of the bulkhead and its backfilling. In total, the geotube was made on 33 sections. In addition, hydrotechnical stone was made on the range of the technical belt on 32 sections, on the slope on 29 sections and the target cross-section on 18 sections,” reports Jacek Szymański, the Project Director from the NDI/Besix consortium.

Almost all sheet piling has been driven and the vast majority of rods have been made. Let us remind you that the artificial island will have an area of 181 ha. It is to be a habitat for birds, and they have already come to like it.

The contractors are also constantly carrying out electrical, teletechnical and sanitary works. Recently, for example, the installation of rainwater pumping stations in the area of the Harbourmaster’s Office building has been carried out. The master control system of the NSS was also tested, and the automation system of the northern and southern bridges, lock gates and external systems installed at the crossing were integrated.

25 kilometres of new road

The General Contractor, the NDI/Besix consortium, does not intend to slow down the pace. In the near future, the consortium is planning, among others, the completion of backfilling of the bulkhead and construction of the superstructure on the western breakwater as well as the construction of the subgrade and the levelling layer on both breakwaters. Soon, the test runs of the gates in the lock are about to start.

The new waterway from the Gulf of Gdańsk through the Vistula Lagoon to Elbląg is a section with a length of nearly 25 kilometres. The shipping channel itself is to be one-kilometre-long and five-metre-deep.



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