Graffiti Mural on Deurganck Dock Lock completed
The giant mural on one of the walls of the Deurganck dock lock has been completed. Graffiti artist Cazn took a total of 10 weeks to complete the 300 meter long and 9 metre high mural which starts with a desert landscape then merges into birds in a nature reserve followed by colourful fish, sharks, a mermaid, Neptune and ships in the port, all along the inside wall of the lock. The mural will remain visible from the control tower, although some of it will disappear under water from time to time depending on the state of the tide.
Lock filled with water
In the meantime preparations are being made on the construction site to start filling the lock with water on 27 April. This will be done using a siphon system for which three pipes are being laid (two siphon pipes and one pump pipe to prime the siphons) between the Waasland canal and the lock itself. Water will keep flowing through the siphon as long as the level of water in the Waasland canal is higher than the level in the lock. The siphon will be primed by a vacuum pump sucking water up to the highest point while the lower arm of the siphon is closed by means of a slide valve. The pressure difference will make water start to flow through the pipe. Once the flow starts the pressure at the top of the pipe will start to fall. At that moment the vacuum pump can be switched off and the water will continue to flow – without help from the pump – until the water level has equalised on both sides. An estimated 80% of the volume can be siphoned across without any loss of energy; for the remaining 20% the pump will be used to assist the active siphons. To ensure a sufficiently high rate of flow, two siphons will be used in parallel. The average flow rate generated by the siphon (later assisted by the pump) is about 10,000 m³ per hour. The lock chamber will be filled with water after about seven days.
Moving the lock gates into position
The Zhen Hua 15 is due to arrive in the port of Antwerp at the end of May or the beginning of June. This ship left China at the beginning of April carrying four giant lock gates together with the trolleys on which they will run, two combined road and rail bridges in sections and the dam caisson. After a sea journey of eight weeks it is expected to arrive in the Deurganck dock. Unloading it there will take about two weeks, after which it will return to China in the second half of July. Manoeuvring the lock gates into position will be a feat of engineering in itself which will take at least two weeks.