The Constructor

World’s Largest Canal Lock Opens in the Netherlands

Zeesleuis Lock

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The Netherlands is famous for its canals, with its capital city, Amsterdam, having 165 canals. While many of the city's old canals are listed in the UNESCO world heritage list, the Netherlands recently opened the world's largest canal lock in the city of Ijmuiden. 

The Ijmuiden lock is designed to replace the older structure called Noorderslius that was built in 1929 and reported several malfunctions in the past.

The new sluice was inaugurated virtually by William-Alexander, the King of the Netherlands. The canal was named "Zeesleuis," meaning sea lock, based on a public poll conducted by the Dutch authorities that received more than 5,000 entries.

Ijmuiden is a port city in the Netherlands that connects the North Sea Canal with the port of Amsterdam. The construction of the 500 meters long (1,640 feet) and 700 meters wide structure started in 2016 and was to be completed by 2019 but took longer with the budget going up by €300 million. 

The multidisciplinary project includes the construction of waiting pontoons for easy navigation through the new lock. The project scope also consists of maintenance of the new lock and waiting pontoons for approximately 26 years.

Jaap Zeilmaker of the Dutch waterways agency Rijkswaterstaat said that the new canal lock is like a bigger front door for Amsterdam. By making transportation easier, the Zeesleuis lock will be a boon for the economy and also provide protection from the threat of flooding.

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