Retailing Walls at Lock

Complete renewal

Hamburg-Harburg Hafenschleuse

  • Client:
    Hamburg Port Authority
  • Location: inner harbour in Hamburg’s Harburg district
  • Renewal of bank revetments
  • Total length: c. 205 m
  • Elevation: up to 12.50 m
  • 3,800 m² retaining walls
    (c. 610 t)
  • c. 80 tension piles
  • Time: 2009
  • Building costs: ca. 3,6 Mio EUR
  • Our scope:
    structural and civil engineering

The entrance to Harburg’s inner harbour.

Since the beginning of the 1990s, the inner harbour in Hamburg’s Harburg district has undergone structural change and is a part of the city’s “Sprung über die Elbe” (Leap over the Elbe) concept. The inner harbour is linked to the tidal waters of the Süderelbe (the southern arm of the river Elbe) by a lock, the Harburger Hafenschleuse. During the overhaul of the lock, renewal of the western bank revetments of the outer harbour was also necessary.

The existing retaining walls protect the main dyke (Harburger Hauptdeich) and are thus part of the public flood protection line. Due to heavy corrosion damage to the existing sheet pile walls, a new structure was necessary in the form of ramming on the water side secured by back-anchoring.

The geological conditions, the flood protection requirements and the need to consider the existing construction represented special challenges to be overcome in the design of the new structure. Thanks to the consistent planning of practical construction solutions, the building phase could be limited to just 10 months and the works could be completed on time and within budget.

Armed for the next flood – but still attractive for visitors – the new retaining walls line the gateway to a newly developing city district.

Are they still watertight?

Southern Sülfeld Lock

Design of excavation pit

Wolfsburg Sülfeld

Sheet pile walls for the "pearls".

Quay Wall, Westkai

Remediation of quay structure


Ships in the air.

Ship lift

Repair and overhaul