zoom The Dutch Highways and Waterways Agency (Rijkswaterstaat) plans to award the construction of the new IJmuiden sea lock, located at the mouth of the North Sea Canal to Amsterdam, to the Consortium OpenIJ, which has been named the project’s preferred bidder. After contract close, the consortium, comprised of European construction group Royal BAM Group, Dutch construction group Volker Wessels and DIF, independent Dutch investor in infrastructure projects which manages EUR 2 billion of funds, will be responsible for design, construction, financing and maintenance of the new lock for a period of 26 years. The dredging activities would be carried out by subcontractors Boskalis and Van Oord.BAM is currently constructing two new sea locks in Antwerp (in joint venture) and Brunsbüttel.A new, larger lock system is aimed at improving the accessibility of the port of Amsterdam and stimulate the local economy by accommodating bigger ships. The new lock will be 70 meters wide, 500 meters long and 18 meters deep. Construction is set to start early 2016 and the new lock is expected to be available for shipping at the end of 2019.Rijkswaterstaat, the Province of North Holland, the City of Amsterdam and Port of Amsterdam NV work together in the realization of this new large sea lock at IJmuiden. The Municipality of Velsen is involved as legal adviser with regard to planning procedures.The new IJmond sea entrance is part of Rijkswaterstaat’s Locks Program, which includes six projects: lock Limmel, 2nd lock Eefde, 3rd Beatrix Lock, IJmond sea entrance, sea lock Terneuzen and the Afsluitdijk.