Press Release

BAUER Spezialtiefbau GmbH constructs new basin at Zerben lock

Berlin – The Zerben lock on the Elbe-Havel Canal, in the rural District of Jerichower Land between Magdeburg and Berlin, is being extended by the construction of a second lock basin. This project is the next step in the program to upgrade the waterway link between the Ruhr region and the ports along the River Rhine and Berlin’s inland harbor network. The developer is the Magdeburg Waterways Construction Agency on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development.

The specialist foundation construction works for the new lock are being carried out by BAUER Spezialtiefbau GmbH based in Schrobenhausen. The Zerben lock is already the fourth lock construction on this East-West waterway route in which Bauer is participating. The largest project was the construction of the double lock Hohenwarthe where Bauer carried out the entire foundation construction works. Other projects included the construction of the deep excavations for the upgraded modern lock basins Sülfeld and Wusterwitz.

Schleuse Zerben

The concept for the modernization of the Zerben lock is comparable with the one of Wusterwitz: parallel to the existing lock, a new larger lock basin is being constructed, designed to handle Euro-size trains of barges. The new lock is scheduled to be in operation by the beginning of 2016. The old lock will be retained, to provide a backup installation for future maintenance work.

For the new lock, Bauer is constructing a 265 meters long excavation pit which is 22.5 meters wide in its narrow center section and up to 17 meters deep. A 0.8 meters thick diaphragm wall, with a total wall area of 10,000 square meters, is to form the retaining wall of the excavation by using a diaphragm wall grab mounted on a Bauer MC 64 foundation crane. The horizontal seal at the base of the excavation is to be provided by an underwater concrete slab secured against uplift by 930 small diameter injection anchors. The upper section of the excavation is to be braced by 35 reinforced concrete pillars, each 1.5 meters high and 1 meter wide.

Further extensive works include the installation of 20,000 square meters of sheet pilling in the area of the upper and the lower harbor with up to 17 meters long sheet piles. This work is being carried out by an RTG piling rig. A Bauer BG 28 rotary drilling rig has also briefly been in operation for the installation of the piles supporting the horizontal pillars. The specialist foundation construction works are scheduled for completion by November 2014.