Widening a harbor basin, demolition of a deep see quay wall in Rotterdam

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The rapid development in containership dimensions creates a huge challenge for ports. But for one port basin in Rotterdam this challenge was too big. The nautical restrictions for the Amazonehaven would start at such moderate conditions that the basin would be closed for Ultra Large Container Ships (ULCS) about a 100 days a year. As this basin contains more than 60 percent of the deep sea quay length at ECT, Europe’s largest container terminal, the Port of Rotterdam Authority decided to widen the basin by demolishing the opposite iron ore bulk quay wall. In this way vessels up to 18.000 TEU have access up to 6 Beaufort wind speed. This quay wall, with a length of 950 meters and a retaining height of 32 meters, was con-structed between 1988 and 1990 with an inclined steel combi wall, concrete pre stressed bear-ing piles, MV piles and a massive concrete superstructure. It is the first ever demolished quay wall on this scale in Rotterdam and, as far as the authors know, even globally. Before the demolition could start, a new quay wall, with a length of 2500 meters was con-structed and over 3 million cubic meters of sand had to be removed. All works are executed without interrupting the process at the ECT terminal. The paper describes the necessity of the widening project and focusses on the demolishing process and especially the lessons learned from this project. Most important items are unex-pected heavy pile damage probably due to heavy pile driving during construction and the drill and blast operation in an operational port basin.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConference Proceedings COME 2017 - Decommissioning of Offshore Geotechnical Structures: March 28-29, 2017 Hamburg, Germany
PublisherHamburg University of Technology
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9783936310405
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventCOME 2017: Decommissioning of Offshore Geotechnical Structures - Hamburg, Germany
Duration: 28 Mar 201729 Mar 2017

Publication series

NameVeröffentlichungen des Institutes Geotechnik und Baubetrieb
PublisherHamburg University of Technology


ConferenceCOME 2017
Abbreviated titleCOME17


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