Fontec wins a dry dock with an integrated quay wall contract in Zeebrugge

Fontec, a Soletanche Bachy subsidiary in Belgium, was chosen to build a 30,000m² diaphragm wall for a quay which will be part of a dry dock located in the port of Zeebrugge. Fontec has negotiated a contract including incorporated supplies (concrete and steel) – a first in Belgium for many years!

02.03.2020NewsNew contract

As part of the Antwerp bypass project (Oosterweel project), the construction of a tunnel is planned to link the left and right banks of the Scheldt. This structure will be built using the submerged tunnel process. It will involve eight prefabricated elements 160m long, 42m wide, and 10m high. In order to make these prefabricated elements, a dry dock with an integrated quay wall on one side needs to be built along the Baudouin canal.

For this dry dock, Fontec will be in charge of special works including the construction of a diaphragm wall 1.20m thick, 32m deep and 920m long, and composed of 128 panels with a volume of 280m3 each, as well as the installation of 548 anchors weighing 250 tonnes.

The project’s main challenge is the very tight lead time – eight months to build this 30,000m² wall. The following choices have also been made to reduce the excavation, equipment and concreting:

  • The excavation is being carried out in two shifts. The presence of hard layers, and therefore the need for drilling, led to the initial choice to use very heavy mechanical grabs for the excavation. A KS hydraulic grab was added. This configuration makes it possible to concrete four to five panels per week.
  • The concrete plant is located less than 20 minutes from the site. A minimum delivery rate of 60m3/h to 80m3/h has been defined, with the concrete remaining workable for five hours.
  • The two-part reinforcement cages are fitted with fishplates. This system has been used before and only requires four bolts to connect the two parts of the cage.
  • The steel covers are created inside the cage. This provides a significant gain in equipment and facilitates the concrete flow in that area.

Once completed, the wall will serve as a new quay wall for the Port Authority of Zeebrugge, expanding its marine vehicle transport activities.

This new worksite completes the project portfolio of Soletanche Bachy’s ForSHORE brand.

Fontec, Belgique, paroi moulée