Technical overhaul of lock gate
Over the next few weeks, maintenance work will be carried out on the inner head gate of Kaiserschleuse lock. In the early hours of Friday morning, a floating crate towed the 2200- ton lock gate to Lloyd shipyard. The water level in the port had to be raised in order to do so. Diverse measures had to be carried out before the lock gate could be removed: the mud on the tank lid had to be removed and the water pumped out of the ballast tanks. Removal and re-installation of the floating steel wall is literally a matter of millimetres: the experts on the lock gate and the crew of the floating crane have only 67 millimetres in which to manoeuvre to avoid ramming the concrete structure.
In addition to the maintenance work, the gate will also be technically overhauled. In May, on completion of the work, the 57-metre long, 23-metre high and nine-metre wide lock gate will be taken back to Kaiserschleuse lock, where it will be moored at the dolphin as reserve gate. The present reserve gate will then be installed.
Parallel to this work, the 80-ton lower carriage was also removed with the help of the floating crane. Fassmer shipyard will now carry out the structural adjustments that are necessary to match the changes in the lock gate. This work is expected to take three to four weeks. During that time, Kaiserschleuse lock will have to remain closed to traffic. bremenports will make use of the shutdown to carry out repair and maintenance work to the drive systems.
The outer head of the lock was already refurbished two years ago. In the course of that project, comprehensive measures were undertaken to ensure smooth operation of the lock over the long term. In addition to the installation of new rails made of a particularly hard and resistant alloy and with a wider running surface, this also involved installing a measuring system in the lower carriage to enable optimum ballasting of the lock gates.