LANTIS, the project developer responsible for the prestigious ‘Oosterweel link’, which will complete the Antwerp Ring Road, has awarded the contract for the construction of the Scheldt tunnel to the Tijdelijke Handelsvennootschap Combinatie Oosterweeltunnel (THV COTU) consortium today, 3rd June 2020.
THV COTU is composed of the Belgian construction groups DEME, BESIX, BAM Contractors and Jan De Nul. The contract value is EUR 570 mio, with a DEME share of 25%.
Known as the jewel in the crown of this crucial infrastructure project, the Scheldt tunnel will be the most important connecting element in the Oosterweel link and closes the Antwerp Ring Road on the north side. The tunnel has a total length of 1,800 m and will be built according to the ‘immersed tube’ method.
Eight tunnel elements of approximately 60,000 tonnes each will be built in the inner port of Zeebrugge and then towed to Antwerp via the North Sea and the Western Scheldt, where they will be immersed in a pre-dredged trench in the River Scheldt in Antwerp.
This technique, in which gravity and the upward force of water are constantly competing with each other, is one of the most ingenious building methods in concrete and hydraulic construction.
THV COTU is well aware of the challenges that such a project brings with it in a technically difficult environment such as the Scheldt. But the partners are confident that they have the necessary expertise and decades of experience to successfully achieve the realisation of this vital stage of the Oosterweel link project.
The first preparatory work will start in the autumn of 2020. Construction work for the tunnel itself will begin after the summer of 2021.
Photo credit: LANTIS