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Foundations works to unlock German river traffic now underway

Diaphragm wall construction to build a new lock on the Elbe-Harvel Canal has got underway as part of a project to allow large barges to use the canal and reach ports on the River Rhine and Berlin’s inland harbour network.

The new Zerben lock, which is due to be completed in 2016, is being built alongside the existing one and will allow the canal to accept Euro-size train barges.

Bauer Spezialtiefbau is undertaking the work at Zerben lock for Magdeburg Waterways Construction Agency on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development.

The diaphragm wall, which is being constructed using a Bauer MC 64 foundation crane fitted with a grab, is being used to create a 265m long, 22.5m wide and 17m deep excavation pit. The base slab will be secured against hydrostatic uplift using 930 ground anchors and the upper levels of the excavation will be braced by 35 1.5m high, 1m diameter reinforced concrete horizontal pillars supported on piled foundations. The work also involves installation of 20,000m2 of sheet piles.

Foundation work for the project is expected to be completed in November next year.

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