Duchêne soon opens the gates: the subsidiary of Eiffage Benelux has completed the work of stretching of the lock of Ampsin

Duchêne soon opens the gates: the subsidiary of Eiffage Benelux has completed the work of stretching of the lock of Ampsin

Since August 2018, several Duchêne teams have been working on the Ampsin lock, in the province of Liège. This impressive construction site with an area of about 30,000 m² is planned over 5 years for an amount of 119,500,000 euros. Every day, about 100 workers and about 15 managers are mobilized. An important step has just been taken: the end of the reconstruction of all the bajoyers left of lock 2 on the side of the dam before the winter period!

The objective of the project is the large size of the locks in order to allow the passage of larger barges (up to 9,000 tons) and to accelerate the passage of the ships. The Belgian – and European – river network will be highlighted.

The first part of the project, which is spread over 3 years, consists of constructing the future small lock E2, 12.5 m wide by 225 m long, and redesigning the banks upstream and downstream of the right bank to widen the width of the waterway.

Currently, the main cofferdam enclosure (dam for the interim water holding) has been dry and the interim bridge has been put in place. The two periods of low water (from April to October) necessary for the reconstruction of the left jowl (side wall) of lock E2 were successfully held!

During this stretch phase, our teams were able to carry out the impressive work of earthworks and demolition, and:
- Hundreds of tie rods and sheet piles have been set up;
- 1,000 t of steel were placed;
- 12,000 m³ of concrete was poured.

This work is carried out for SOFICO, with the technical assistance of the SPW – Direction des Voies Hydrauliques de Liège, as a design office of the SM Greisch – Tractebel Engineering and as a control office of SECO. The main companies working for Duchêne are FRANKI Foundations for stakes and tie rods, SOETAERT for sheet piling, WANTY for demolition. This operation is carried out in synergy with De Graeve, also a subsidiary of Eiffage Benelux, for river equipment.

The next important step in this project is the launch of Lock E2, scheduled for late June 2021. The official commissioning of this future lock is scheduled for October of that year. The second phase of the project, scheduled for 2022 and 2023, will then be able to begin! This will concern the construction of the large lock E1 (25m wide by 225m long) as well as the finishing of the fish passage on the left bank (a kind of artificial river reconstituted with specific vegetation) and the finishing of the metal footbridge that will allow the passage of pedestrians and cyclists over the Meuse.

Congratulations to our Belgian teams for this beautiful stage!
Photo credit: Pascal Thémans