Start-up of equipment and installations at facilities at the construction site of the Vistula Spit Spit Crossing is underway. One of the most important is the Nowy Świat Harbour Master’s Office, where the heart of the crossing, i.e. the master vessel traffic control system is located, the Maritime Office in Gdynia announced on Friday.
– Works on the construction of the Shipping Channel are being conducted efficiently. We are optimistic about the timely completion of works on the Vistula Spit. Other parts of the investment are gaining momentum. The banks of the Elbląg river and the construction of a bridge in Nowakowo are under way, while the dredging of the waterway in the Vistula Lagoon has already been put out to tender,” said Marek Gróbarczyk, Deputy Minister of Infrastructure, quoted in the communication.
The construction of the Vistula Spit Pier is a way of delineating a new waterway, which will connect the Vistula Lagoon with the Gulf of Gdansk. In order to make such ship traffic possible and at the same time not to limit car traffic, it is necessary to build, among others, a navigation channel with locks, swing bridges and a space from which it will be possible to manage all this, i.e. the Harbourmaster’s Office – the investor reminded in the communication on the progress of works.
– The competences of the Nowy Świat Harbour Master’s Office will include general supervision over navigation safety, environmental protection, fire protection and control over the sluice crossing. Additional specific tasks will include the operation of sluice gates, revolving bridges and the regulation of vehicular traffic within the area of the captain’s office and the sluice crossing – said Paweł Perkowski, coordinator for the Nowy Świat Captain’s Office from the Maritime Office in Gdynia.
He explained that in order to make all this possible and safe, it was necessary to use the highest class equipment of the operator station of the master control system. The system will not work without appropriate specialists. The master’s office will be staffed by the captain, his deputy, inspection officers, port traffic officers and petty officers. Recruitment for officers and petty officers to work in the future captain’s office is already underway.
The control system can be divided into three functional blocks. The first is the position responsible for the crossing itself – to control and monitor the processes occurring as ships pass through the channel. This includes the rotation of the bridges, opening and closing the gates of the southern and northern locks, controlling the turnpikes, signal boxes, barriers, variable message signs, etc.
The station consists of, among others, large touch-screen monitors and emergency panels which, in the event of a fault, will make it possible to open or close a given bridge or operate the gates of a lock,” explained Łukasz Biernat, coordinator of trade works in the NDI/Besix consortium, which is the general contractor for this investment.
The second block is a reserve station – for the crossing of the southern part, i.e. the entrance to the Elbląg river. In the event of failure, it will enable control of the bridge in Nowakowo.
The third functional block is the site security post – it supports the fire or burglary and robbery alarm system, access control, as well as almost 100 CCTV cameras and perimeter security – Mr Biernat said.
– Currently we are finishing works from the southern bridge to the Vistula Lagoon. Reinforced concrete caps, a technical road and a paved surface have been completed. We are completing assembly of hydro-technical equipment. In addition, on the western side the stone filling has been completed, and on the eastern side such works are nearing completion,” said Wojciech Deputat, the road works manager for the NDI/Besix consortium.
As part of the investment project, constant environmental monitoring is being carried out and many actions are being taken to care for the environment. Among other things, in the narrowest point of the navigation channel four ramps have been located, creating two independent passages for animals.
The artificial island in the Vistula Lagoon will eventually cover 181 hectares. Most of the sheet piling and tie-beam work has been completed to date. The dredging and backfilling of the island’s dikes is also underway. The laying of stone on the technical strip and hydrotechnical stone surcharge on the slope is taking place. Half of the sheet pile wall cutting will soon be done.
As reported by the Maritime Office in Gdynia, despite the increasingly difficult weather conditions, the general contractor still has ambitious plans. In the coming months, these include works on the Bay of Gdańsk, i.e. completion of backfilling of the cofferdam on the West Breakwater, continuation of surcharge and reinforced concrete works on both breakwaters, or execution of the base and levelling layer of concrete and superstructure also on both breakwaters.
In the area of the lock, the walls will continue to be filled with timber beams. Installation of the steel structure elements of the gates and mechanics, as well as hydrotechnical equipment, is also planned.
Test loading of the North Bridge has also begun. The South Bridge was put into service already at the beginning of the summer.
Construction of the canal on the Vistula Spit – the first part of the entire investment – is to be completed in 2022. The new waterway from the Gulf of Gdansk through the Vistula Lagoon to Elbląg is nearly 25 kilometres long.