Dutch engineers, of Royal HaskoningDHV, have invented a major road bridge which has no need to open as ships submerge under it, the ‘Tilting Lock’. The tilting lock, a floating structure, is designed to allow boats to submerge under the bridge.
- Two separate water filled channels which has a space for 5 yachts at a time.
- When lock is in level, water in both channels is 4 meter lower than water in the river.
- On tilting the lock for service, the water level of one channel gets raised to meet the outside water level.
- The lock will be made of steel and will be built at a wharf and then transported to its final location.
- It is designed to enable, 15 to 30 ‘oversized’ yachts per hour to pass the bridge without it opening. Capacity may vary depending on width and length of the lock.
- Smaller sailing and motor yachts will still be able to pass the bridge as normal.
- Investment made for building such a lock is €60 million.
Mr Carolus Poldervaart, a Royal HaskoningDHV designer said, “Once the yacht is in the channel, the lock will tilt and ‘submerge’ the boat by 8 metre. After the boat has passed under the bridge the lock reverts to its original position to level the water inside and outside the channel again. This way almost all yachts will be able to pass under busy movable bridges without the bridge having to open. No more waiting traffic, no more waiting boats.”
He added that, “The tilting motion is restricted, mainly to guarantee that the sides of the lock do not touch the mast of the boat.The lock tilts 32 degrees in three minutes and it takes 30 seconds to set the tilting ‘in motion’. In normal weather conditions this uses 0.04 kWh – as little as an eco lamp needs to burn for four hours. Stopping the tilting produces energy, as do the solar panels on the lock. This energy will be used to tilt the lock and for lighting, as well as opening and closing the lock doors”.
- The Tilting Lock does not pump water and no weight is being displaced.
- Tilting lock uses only a minimal energy.
- It is an energy efficient ordinary lock which does not lose water during its service.
- Cost/benefit analysis predicts that Titling Lock at another busy Dutch opening bridge, the Haringvlietbrug, will yield €100 million over a period of 25 years, with a payback time of 12 years.