Southern Sülfeld Lock
Design of excavation pit
Wolfsburg Sülfeld

  • Client:
    Wasser- und Schifffahrtsverwaltung des Bundes
  • Location: Wolfsburg Sülfeld, Mittelland Canal
  • Existing lock with six water-saving basins, design of excavation pit to rebuild the lock
  • Realistic calculations taking account of all building phases
  • Non-linear material laws for the building site
  • Length: c. 350 m
    Time: 2003 - 2004
    Building costs: c. 36 mill. EUR
  • Our scope:
    structural and civil engineering

Are they still watertight?

Sülfeld Lock, in the Sülfeld district of Wolfsburg, was built between 1934 and 1937. It connects the top pound of the Mittelland Canal to its eastern pound. The structure in question is a lock with six water-saving basins on three levels. In the course of the reconstruction of the Mittelland Canal, adaptations were also required at the Sülfeld Lock.

To rebuild the lock, an excavation pit – c. 350 m long, 100 m wide and 18 m deep – firstly had to be created in difficult geological conditions. A further difficulty was that the water-saving basins of the existing lock were located in the direct vicinity of the excavation pit. These water-saving basins had to remain in use. The sole of the basins consists of prefabricated components with seals between the individual sections. These must not be subjected to unacceptably large deformations, because otherwise the impermeability of the water-saving basins would no longer be guaranteed.

The production of the excavation pit was calculated on a realistic basis taking account of all building phases and with non-linear material laws for the building site. For each construction section it could thus be determined whether unacceptable deformations would occur in the area of the water-saving basins. This made it possible to design and produce the excavation pit in such a way that the basins would not suffer any damage.

Yes, the water-saving basins are still watertight.