Contract for Construction of Waterway to Connect Vistula Lagoon with Gulf of Gdańsk

News date: April 20, 2021
 Contract for Construction of Waterway to Connect Vistula Lagoon with Gulf of Gdańsk

On Tuesday, 20 April 2021, the Maritime Office in Gdynia and Budimex SA as the contractor signed a construction agreement for project “Construction of a Waterway to Connect the Vistula Lagoon with the Gulf of Gdańsk – Part II.”


‘Today we are signing an important contract to continue the works on the waterway connecting the Gulf of Gdańsk with the Vistula Lagoon and Elbląg. The investment is of tremendous importance for the future of Poland’, Polish Minister of the Infrastructure Andrzej Adamczyk says.


The works under the contract encompass alteration of the existing fairway on the Elbląg river, and specifically, the reconstruction of the banks which will ultimately take over the flood control function of the earth embankments, construction of low marinas facilitating access to the river, and construction of a swing bridge over the Elbląg river in Nowakowo, plus modification of the road system.


‘The canal across the Spit will open economic growth opportunities to all ports of the Vistula Lagoon and will substantially shorten the way across the Strait of Baltiysk – by almost one hundred kilometres. The contract that was signed today will result in modernisation of the Elbląg river fairway and in construction of a swing bridge in Nowakowo’, Polish Vice-Minister of the Infrastructure Marek Gróbarczyk says.


The gross value of the contract is PLN 574,073,648.82 and the anticipated contract completion time is 24 months.


‘Signing a contract for the second part of the investment is the next milestone in the programme of building a new waterway connecting the Vistula Lagoon with the Gulf of Gdańsk. For the Maritime Office in Gdynia it is a specially joyous moment, as we can launch another project for the construction of infrastructure providing access to Polish ports – in this case to the Elbląg port. The role of sea transport and ports as trans-shipment centres is currently particularly important and crucial in ensuring the continuity of the supply chain. Every new navigable route helps improve efficiency and competitiveness, and build the logistic advantage of the Polish economy’ – Master Mariner Wiesław Piotrzkowski, head of the Maritime Office in Gdynia.


On the part of Budimex S.A., the contract will be signed by the CEO Dariusz Blocher, who has stated that:


Poland absolutely needs hydrotechnical investments such as stage two of the construction of the sea lane to the Elbląg port. River regulation, improvement of the navigability of fairways and construction of water reservoirs are a normal part of the investment landscape in the European Union. Budimex has extensive experience in such construction projects. In 2020, we successfully completed the construction of the largest flood control reservoir for the upper Oder river in Racibórz. We are currently performing hydrotechnical contracts in the Oder river and in the sea ports in Gdańsk, and we are building the Żelazny Most reservoir near Lubin for KGHM The works will reinforce the river bank, provide extra flood control and allow ships to moor on the Elbląg river. We will carry out all the works with respect for environmental requirements and for local communities. Eighty percent of the neighbours of our construction sites have positive opinions about working with us as the general contractor.


Contract in numbers:

  • alteration of the existing fairway on the Elbląg river at a section about 10.4 km long, with fairway width measured on the bottom of the river 60 m and in the area of Nowakowo 40 m, and more specifically reconstruction of the banks (the works involve primarily reinforcement of the river banks using e.g. sheet piling and ground anchors but without any dredging works)
  • ground anchors of a total length 202,000 metres
  • bank reinforcement with steel sheet piling at a 13.3 km section of the bank (piling depth -14 m to -21.5 m a.s.l.; total surface area of the piling 234,000 m2; total weight of the piling 37,400 tonnes of steel)
  • bank reinforcement with reinforced concrete sheet piling at a 1.7 km section of the bank (piling depth -20 m a.s.l.; total surface area of the piling 64,390 m2; piling thickness 0.8 m)
  • total surface area of new piling and banks of the Elbląg river will be over 300 km2
  • construction of the swing bridge over the Elbląg river in Nowakowo about 650 m away from the existing pontoon bridge. Parameters of the newly designed structure: length 104.3 m, span 2 x 51.5 m
  • road works at a 2 km section


As a reminder, the whole project “Construction of a Waterway to Connect the Vistula Lagoon with the Gulf of Gdańsk” consists of three parts.


Part I

The advancement of the works under the contract currently in progress (Part I) is 52%. The contract encompasses: construction of a harbour shielded on the side of the Gulf of Gdańsk; a navigable canal with a lock, a structure of closures with a waiting area on the side of the Gulf of Gdańsk and the Vistula Lagoon, and navigation markings; technical buildings with installations, car parks and a viewing terrace. This part will also involve creating a new road system including two movable steel bridges with vertical rotation axis to permit driving over the canal. An island is being built on the Vistula Lagoon to store the output and ultimately to serve as a bird habitat. The contract is performed by a consortium of N.V Besix SA, NDI S.A. and NDI Sp. z o.o.


Part III

Part three, the one that brings the whole investment together, includes deepening works in the Vistula Lagoon and in the Elbląg river. The tender procedure for that part is planned to be announced in Q4 2021.


The total length of the new waterway from the Gulf of Gdańsk across the Vistula Lagoon to Elbląg is almost 25 km. The way across the Vistula Lagoon will be slightly above 10 km, on the Elbląg river above 12 km, while the remaining 2.5 km section will consist of the lock, the external harbour and the waiting area. The canal and the whole fairway will be 5 m deep.


The new waterway will be available to vessels with the following parameters:

  • 100 m long
  • 20 m wide
  • draught 4.5 m


for monohulls and


  • 180 m for a set of a pusher plus two barges with the same maximum width and drought