Innovation and Networks Executive Agency

EU backs studies on improving access to the Dutch inland waterway network

Creation date: March 26, 2015

The EU's TEN-T Programme will co-fund with over €1 million a study on deepening the waterways and constructing a new lock on Lake IJssel in the Netherlands. The project is to improve the connection between the North Sea and the Dutch inland waterway network, to open it up to larger vessels.



The depth of Lake Ijssel (Ijsselmeer), the largest lake in the Netherlands, is not sufficient for container vessels and coasters to pass through, and the Lorentz Locks controlling the entry to the lake through the Afsluitdijk are too small to allow large ships to pass through.


Making large vessel transport possible through Lake Ijssel would improve the connections between the North Sea and the northern Dutch inland waterway network - in particular the inland ports of Kampen, Zwolle and Meppel. Better connections would in turn lead to an increase in intermodal transport and a larger share of more sustainable transport modes.


This study will look into construction of a new lock at the current location, the deepening of the Lake Ijssel waterway, as well as the creation of a fish migration river. The project is to prepare the construction phase in 2016 by carrying out design, an environmental impact analysis, a fish migration river study, permits and strategic procurement plan, and project management.


The project was selected for EU funding with the assistance of external experts under the TEN-T Annual Call 2013, priority 'Inland waterways'. Its implementation will be monitored by INEA, the European Commission's Innovation and Networks Executive Agency.


The project is to be completed by December 2015.


More information




The TEN-T Programme  was established by the European Commission to support the construction and upgrade of transport infrastructure across the European Union.


The INEA is managing the technical and financial implementation of the TEN-T programme.