As far as maintenance is concerned, Iv-Infra will continue to be involved in an advisory capacity. This aspect was also taken into account in the engineering phase, especially given the size of the two bascule bridges. “The huge dimensions meant that maintenance needed early consideration. The components of smaller bridges are always relatively easy to replace. But, replacing, for example, a hinge pin of a hydraulic cylinder on a bridge of this size is quite a challenge, also because of the weight”, says Michel. “As designers, we must demonstrate in detail that sufficient space is available to reach and replace components. Sometimes we will also need to develop the appropriate tools, as these may not be commercially available.”
The best of both worlds
The Nieuwe Sluis in Terneuzen is an exciting, cross-border collaboration between various Dutch and Flemish institutions and companies. The client, the Flemish-Dutch Scheldt Commission, consists of the Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management (Rijkswaterstaat), and the Flemish equivalent: The Department of Mobility and Public Works, because of its economic interests on both sides. The Sassevaart consortium comprises major Belgian and Dutch construction companies such as BAM, DEME, Stadsbader and Van Laere.
This Flemish-Dutch combination appeals to Dennis Alsemgeest of Iv-Infra. As Lead Structural Engineer, he has been involved for many years in the design of the four gates installed earlier this year. “You can see the input from both countries in this project. Both in the contract, the technical requirements for the gates and the design elaboration. The Netherlands and Flanders have considerable experience in constructing sizeable hydraulic engineering projects, such as the Afsluitdijk (a major dam in the Netherlands), the IJmuiden Sea Lock and the Kieldrecht Lock in Antwerp. It is genuinely fantastic to see the knowledge and skills of both countries coming together in this project.”
The Nieuwe Sluis Terneuzen has proved to be a unique project in which mutual communication and close collaboration in the integral design team of the Sassevaart consortium has played a crucial role.