Belgique – Écluse de Kieldrecht

Kieldrecht lock, Belgium

The Kieldrecht lock is the largest in the world: 500 m long, 68 m wide and up to 26 m deep. Ready for the future. Notwithstanding the gigantic size of this lock, construction was precision work. The lock doors had to close perfectly, and the opening mechanism of bridges required millimetre accuracy, because the train tracks need to fit perfectly whenever the bridge opens and closes.

The record-breaking lock forms a new access to the Waasland harbour and stands for a few dazzling figures. Almost 10 million m³ soil was moved, half in excavating the construction pit and the other half was dredged. For the construction of the lock, 760,000 m³ reinforced concrete was poured. When complete, it took a whole week and 1 million m³ water to fill the lock. The Kieldrecht lock is the appropriate answer to the upscaling and strengthening of the position of the Port of Antwerp on the international market.