At the mouth of the 27-kilometre-long North Sea Canal, or Noordzeekanaal that links Amsterdam and its port with the sea, consortium OpenIJ is building the world's largest sea lock. The new lock, commissioned by the executive agency of the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment Rijkswaterstaat, will be 70 metreswide, 500 metres long and 18 metres deep. A new larger lock will improve accessibility to the port of Amsterdam and strengthen the economy of the region by offering a tidal independent access for vessels constantly increasing in size. The new sea lock will replace the Noordersluis. This replacement is necessary because after being in use for nearly a century, the Noordersluis is at the end of his life term.
The new sea lock should be in continuous operation no later than late 2019. The new sea lock will become the largest lock in the world in lock chamber dimensions. It will be located on the lock complex IJmuiden between two existing operational locks: the Noordersluis and Middensluis. Building the new sea lock in close proximity to these locks offers challenges, because stability and operation of the locks must be guaranteed. The extremely tight construction site adds further complication coupled with all current functions like Shipping, primary water defense, public road and the people living and working on or near the lock complex.