Royers lock renovation

In early 2018, the Antwerp Port Authority decided to renovate the Royers lock - which has been in operation since 1907 - and to reserve it exclusively for inland shipping traffic. Due to a change to the situation at the other lock complexes, overseas shipping no longer needs to pass through the Royers lock. The widening of the lock from 22 to 36 metres means a significant increase in lock capacity. Inland shipping can thus play a crucial role in the increase in container handling capacity and the continuing move towards a modal shift.

New Royers lock closing times

Until the final renovation works begin, closing times for shipping are fixed. The lock will not be in use at these times. Closing times during the morning and evening rush hours allow for an acceptable flow of road traffic. The closing times have now been changed, in consultation with the inland waterways sector:

  • From 6.30am to 8.30am (a reduction of 30 minutes)
  • From 3.30pm to 6pm.

The afternoon closure from 1.15pm to 1.45pm is no longer in force!

Once the Royers lock is renovated, there will no longer be closing times for shipping.

A lock with a past and a future

After years of research, the Port Authority and the competent Flemish Government services - in close consultation with the inland waterways sector - determined the new dimensions and functionalities of the Royers lock. After the renovation, the Royers lock will measure 36 metres wide and 230 metres long between the lock gates. The new dimensions provide additional lock capacity, flexibility and a good flow to and from the Albert Canal. The fresh investments are linked to the increased elevation of the bridges over the Albert Canal. These changes will allow ships to transport more containers to and from the port. This is vital to the further development of the Port of Antwerp.


Sufficient capacity for both motorised traffic and vulnerable road users.

The lock will have two lock gates and two drawbridges with sufficient capacity for incoming and outgoing motorised and bicycle traffic. Together with the planned investments in the Oosterweel link to the right bank, the future will bring a significant improvement to traffic flow, not only for inland shipping traffic but also for vulnerable road users, public transport, freight transport and exceptional transport. At the same time, it means a new branch to the main road network (the Oosterweel loop).

Renovation work

The Royers lock renovation works have been incorporated into BAM nv's plans for the construction of the Oosterweel tunnel. This construction site, which will start in 2020 at the earliest, is located near the Royers lock. Proper coordination with BAM nv and intensive consultation with the inland waterways sector should minimise disruption to road traffic and inland shipping.  Traffic flow during the temporary closure (of 2.5 years) will be accommodated as well as possible via the four other locks on the right bank. The total operation will last 40 to 46 months.

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You can download the information concerning Royers lock renovation in French and German below.