Ship lift
Repair and overhaul

  • Client:
    Wasser- und Schifffahrtsamt Uelzen
  • Recalculations and upgrading of the existing construction
  • Recalculations of the bearing blocks and the trough structures
  • Engineering evaluation of possible subsidence
  • Reinforcement of the 2.60 metre high sheet metal girders
  • Very confined space
  • Maintenance of traffic
  • Time: 2013 - 2014
  • Our scope:
    structural and civil engineering

Ships in the air.

The Elbe Lateral Canal is an important waterway connecting the River Elbe with the Mittelland Canal. During the building of the canal, the ship lift at Lüneburg was also constructed. At that time it was the largest twin ship lift in the world. Vessels are raised to a height of 38 metres.

The lift comprises a total of two water troughs. For each trough there are four towers, each of which is arranged with two bearing blocks. Raising the water level in the troughs from 3.38 to 3.50 metres required the recalculation of the trough structures. Misalignments that had resulted from decades of use were also taken into consideration. A further step involved the engineering evaluation of possible subsidence on account of the planned nearby construction of a new lock.

The particular challenge arose from the planning of upgrading measures in a very confined space. Shipping traffic had to be allowed to continue during the building phase. The 2.60 metre high sheet metal girders on the reverse sides of the bearing blocks were reinforced with additional bracing sheets. Further tie lashings were fitted to the frames of the bearing blocks.

The recalculations and upgrading of the existing construction will guarantee the continued maintenance of shipping operations on the Elbe Lateral Canal for the coming decades.