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Currently under construction, the largest sea lock in the world will be called Zeesluis IJmuiden. The name was chosen after a competition initiated by the municipality of Velsen and the Department of Waterways and Public Works (Rijkswaterstaat) last spring.

The name Zeesluis IJmuiden was announced today in a video message by alderman Jeroen Verwoort of Velsen municipality and Nienke Bagchus, director of Rijkswaterstaat.

“This vital lock deserved to be given a crystal-clear new name,” commented the Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management, Cora van Nieuwenhuizen. “Situated in Ijmuiden, the lock will serve as the access point to the North Sea Canal region and the ports of Amsterdam for the coming century.”

The video is available via  

Sluisje McSluisface
The announcement marked the end of a campaign in which the public was asked to submit names for the locks. Over 5000 ideas were received, including many funny names such as The Irma Sluis, Sluisje McSluisface and De Sluizenmoeder, many of which are cultural references. The naming committee from Velsen municipality made a first selection from the submissions, after which a jury comprised of neighbours of the future locks chose their five favourites. The final winner, Zeesluis IJmuiden, was picked by the Municipal Executive of Velsen municipality.

Four submissions
Zeesluis IJmuiden was submitted five times in total and all five senders received a cake bearing the new name. The first person to suggest it was also invited to attend the opening of the locks in 2022.

The new sea locks
Designed to accommodate increasingly large vessels, the world’s largest sea lock has been under construction in IJmuiden since 2016 and will be 500 metres long, 70 metres wide and 18 metres deep. The project is a partnership between the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, the province of North Holland, the municipality of Amsterdam, Port of Amsterdam, and Velsen municipality. The contracting consortium OpenIJ is building the new sea locks on behalf of the Department of Waterways and Public Works, with the first vessels due to sail through Zeesluis IJmuiden in early 2022.