The joint dredging operations of the Elbe waterway by the Federal Shipping and Waterways Administration and the Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) for the construction of a passing box have been completed.
In a statement, the Port of Hamburg said the Elbe waterway has been widened to 385m along the eight km passage between Wedel and Blankenese. Seagoing ships with a combined width of 104m, instead of the former 90m will be able to pass each other safely.
Ing. Hans-Heinrich Witte, President of the Federal Shipping and Waterways Administration, commented, “The widening of the passing box will make the Elbe still more attractive for international shipping.
“Additional ship width means time gained and easier planning. This will ensure simpler and more effective traffic flow.”
Senator Michael Westhagemann was also quoted, “With completion of the passing box, an essential initial stage of fairway adjustment has been achieved. Services by mega-containerships can now be handled distinctly more rapidly and reliably, and this represents a real gain for shipping.”
The passing box will enable the approach to the Port of Hamburg to be less dependent on tidal ebb and flow.
Pending the final completion of fairway adjustment on the Lower and Outer Elbe, some outstanding works connected with the deepening remain to be performed. These include removal of obstacles, profiling, soundings, etc and nature conservation measures.