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Weir ensemble Lower Rhine Lek

Linked to the core value Innovation, Sustainability and Collaboration

Weir ensemble Nederrijn and Lek equipped with high-tech central control

On December 18, 2020, the renovated weir ensemble Nederrijn en Lek was officially completed. The weirs and locks in Driel, Hagestein and Amerongen can continue to perform their tasks safely and reliably in the coming decades. From now on they will be operated remotely from a new central control building in Amerongen. Rijkswaterstaat awarded the Design & Construct contract to Yunex Traffic as the main contractor within a consortium with Soldidd Steel Structures for steel construction and DEME Infra for hydraulic engineering work. The multidisciplinary project started in 2015 and required close cooperation between all parties involved. The weir complexes remained in operation during the renovation. Spectacular moments included entering and installing the new visor slides for the weirs. The temporary retaining means ensured that the weirs could also perform their flood-retaining function during the renovation. The locks have been thoroughly renovated. The weir ensemble Nederrijn en Lek was and remains suitable for shipping class Va, but the facilities at the locks are adapted to the current requirements for such a waterway.

By renewing the control and operating installations, Yunex Traffic made it possible to remotely operate the weir complexes 24/7 from the new control center in Amerongen. As a result, Rijkswaterstaat can increase its service to shipping and at the same time better coordinate water management and shipping on the Nederrijn and Lek. In the event of malfunctions or maintenance, a local control desk at each weir complex can temporarily take over the operation.

The challenges for Rijkswaterstaat as well as the consortium partners and subcontractors were not only of a technical nature. The fact that the building was built in a working environment placed high demands on planning, safety and risk management and required careful coordination and communication. Jaap Rebel, project manager on behalf of Yunex Traffic, looks back with pride: “This was a complex and very challenging project. Together with Rijkswaterstaat, our consortium partners and the subcontractors, we have made the Nederrijn and Lek weir complex future-proof. It complies with the European Machinery Directive and all other (safety) requirements that are set for locks and flood defences.”

The Nederrijn en Lek weir ensemble is a crucial link in the Dutch water system and has a vital function. The weir at Driel is the ‘crane of the Netherlands’. It distributes the water that comes from the Pannerdensch canal over the IJssel, the Nederrijn and Lek. On the one hand, this ensures that sufficient freshwater flows to the IJsselmeer. Stay on the other hand As a result, the Lower Rhine and Lek are easily navigable. 39,000 ships pass through the locks every year: 12,000 at Driel, 17,000 at Amerongen and 10,000 at Hagestein.

With the completion of the project, the project organization of Yunex Traffic has handed over the baton to the maintenance organization Siemens Customer Services. He will take care of the maintenance of all technical installations for one year. The maintenance organization was involved from the start, to help think about maintenance during the design phase. “Each installation has its own maintenance regime,” said service delivery manager Chek Lee. “We also perform fault analysis to resolve faults and remove any structural problems from the installations. And if Rijkswaterstaat wants to make a certain adjustment or expansion of the installation, our service organization will take care of that too. In this way, we will continue to work together with Rijkswaterstaat on the development of the weir ensemble, even after the renovation.”

Jaap Rebel: “During this project, we were able to convert the lessons learned from the previous renovation of a series of almost identical works of art into an impressive and sustainable end result. Together we have thus taken another step towards the digitization of our vital infrastructure. We thank Rijkswaterstaat and our subcontractors for the pleasant constructive cooperation.”

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