Renovation of the Royers Lock

Renovation of the Royers Lock


The Royers lock forms the entrance from the Scheldt to the Albert Canal. The current Royers lock was built in the years 1900-1910 and is at the end of its lifespan. As part of the renovation of this lock, it was decided based on the results of a Social Cost Benefit Analysis (SCBA) study, to demolish the existing lock and to build a new lock.

Construction site and concrete works

The renovation is used to increase the lock dimensions. The existing chamber is 182.5m long and 22m wide, while the new lock has a 226m long and 36m wide chamber. The threshold level was kept at the same level.

The design of the new lock is based on the lock at the  Deurganck dock and consists of 2 lock heads with the lock chamber in between. One rolling doors is provided per lock head. It is levelled with the aid of bypass sewers. On both sides of the lock, there are 2 bascule bridges with associated bridge cellars. The lock walls are reinforced concrete counterfort retaining walls. The circulation trenches and pipe tunnel are executed as reinforced concrete structures. The door chamber, doorways, lock floor and bridge abutments are also poured into concrete in situ.

For the construction of the new lock, a completely dry construction pit is necessary. It was decided to excavate the excavation pit in the embankment. A cement-bentonite wall is provided into the ‘Boom’ clay as a groundwater barrier.

An additional difficulty for the design of the construction site is the presence of the protected lock master’s house in the slope of the construction site. Around the house, diaphragm walls will be build so that it protrudes like a “tower” above the slopes of the construction site. An extensive monitoring campaign will be required for this task.

Rolling gates

For each lock head, one rolling gate is carried out as a wheelbarrow type with approximately following dimensions: length 38m, width 10m, height 16.2m (Scheldt doors) or 15.7m (dock)

Other structures

Besides the new lock, other structures were installed as well:

  • Two movable steel bridges
  • Electromechanical equipment
  • Buildings (2 machine buildings, 1 central technical building, 4 kiosks for operating the valves of the bypass sewers)
  • The access channel
  • Landscaping planning

Services provided by SBE

SBE was primarily responsible for the following tasks for the construction of the new lock complex:

  • Design;
  • Tender design and procurement documents.

For the following parts of the lock:

  • Excavation design
  • Concrete works
  • Rolling gates
  • Moving bascule bridges
  • Electromechanical equipment
  • Technical buildings
  • Access channel

Prior to these tasks, SBE has taken on the supervision of the Social Cost Benefit Analysis (SCBA) study for the Royers lock. (execution by Rebel)

Specifically, for these areas of construction:

  • Hydraulic study of temporary road pavement
  • Hydraulic study of final road hardening
  • Design sewerage: measurement and specifications





Royersbrug - Antwerp, Belgium
Port & river engineering
Lock design
Port development
2014 - 2015