In the otherwise so quiet and picturesque village of Eefde, there’s been lots of hustle and bustle going on during the winter of 2012. The lock in the Twente Canal near the village even became breaking news for a while. Due to an, as yet, unknown cause, a lock gate weighing 90 tons fell down on 3 January, 2012, thereby blocking the only access from the IJssel to the Twente Canal. More than 40 inland waterway ships were no longer able to leave the Twente Canal. A major problem therefore for the inland waterway traffic and the masters in the Twente region, who could no longer transport their freight.

The situation demanded a rapid solution. In co-operation with the Ministry of Water Management and Jansen  Venneboer, main contractor for the repair works, Wagenborg Nedlift developed a method to temporarily operate the lock.

The temporary lifting construction consisted of two parts: a 400 tons crawler crane with superlift attachment and a  securing device. As the repairing works in the lock building needed to go on full-time the securing device could not be assembled in the building itself. Wagenborg Nedlift designed a so called gantry around the building and assembled the securing device on top of it. Once the gate had been lifted it was secured by means of 2 hydraulic securing pins. If anything unforeseen would happen with the crane, the gate would always be secured. Ships could now safely pass the gate.

Several components had to fabricated for the job, they all needed to be tested and certified. However the design, engineering and assembly of the crane and gantry took 3 weeks only. More than 50 heavy transport trucks were  needed to deliver the equipment required. In the meantime, there was a severe frost and the Twente Canal also froze over. Just when the solution was so close, the stranded ships were threatened to become frozen in… The Ministry of Water Management was soon able to mobilise an ice breaker and Wagenborg Towage assisted with a second one. As a result, the shipping route in the Twente Canal soon became navigable again.

By the end of March, the original lock construction was repaired so normal operation could start again. The peace and quietness returned to the picturesque Eefde…