Civil + dredging: a golden combination

Davy Spriet is project manager for the civil works and Dominic De Prins is project manager for the dredging works. Together, they manage the overall project on site. Dominic De Prins explains the construction procedure: “The new quay wall will be built at right angles to the present one. As a result, a huge amount of ground must be removed to connect the quay with the Panama Canal. We’ve opted to excavate a building pit first, in which we can then build the quay in dry conditions. In this way, the remaining land will constitute a natural dike next to the canal. Once the quay has been completed, the pit will be flooded and the dike removed by dredging. We have already excavated 2 million cubic metres in the dry and as from May 2017 we will start with the actual wet dredging works, dredging to a depth of 16.3 metre, representing another 2 million cubic metres. The excavated soil is transported to an authorised dumping area at sea, at about 20 kilometres from the construction site.” 

"It is much easier to walk to your site than sending in a diver"

According to Davy Spriet, such dry building pit offers considerable benefits: “In this way, we can work vertically, down to 23 metre below sea level. It is a unique approach: the biggest part of the quay that in future will be flooded, will still be built on land. This makes it much less expensive and more efficient to construct, an innovation PSA Panamá appreciate. It is also much easier to monitor the works as you can just walk to your site for a visual inspection rather than when you must otherwise send in a diver to do so.”

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