New Lock Zeebrugge
The inner port area and hinterland of Zeebrugge are in development. To ensure the continuous growth of the port and regional employment, a second access to the inner port is needed.
For the moment all maritime traffic to the inner port goes through the Vandamme lock. A second maritime lock, the Visart lock, already dates back from 1907. This is deprecated infrastructure and does not correspond to the needs of the present-day maritime transport.
The Vandamme lock currently operates at full capacity. This lock is in use since 1984 and maintenance works are being carried out. In this process it has become clear that in the medium term more invasive works for rehabilitation are needed. These works would imply the decommissioning of the Vandamme lock for a longer period. As such, the realisation of a second full-fledged access to the inner port is a necessity. At the same time the selected solution should take into account the further development of the area, the associated capacity needs and the current state of the Vandamme lock.
On July, 15. 2016, the Flemish Government took the initiating decision for the planning process ‘Improvement of the nautical access of the (inner)port of Zeebrugge’. In February 2018 the Flemish selected the new location for the lock out of 6 alternatives as a starting point of the research phase. On May, 10. 2019 the Flemish government established the principal preferential decision, taking into account objections raised during the public consultation. The old Visart lock has been confirmed as location of the new lock, but the necessary mitigating measures will be foreseen. The decision has now been submitted to the Council of State for advice. Only after this step the decision will be definite and the chosen alternative can be elaborated further into a project decision, taking up the necessary permit before actual implementation.
More information is available on the project website.