The lock was built to prevent difficulties for the shipping traffic during the construction of the new lock with double weir.
All ships can sail through the temporary lock now and when the new lock is constructed it will be demolished. According to the current plan, the new lock will be ready in the summer of 2017.

The construction of the temporary lock started in the summer of 2015. We needed less than a year to build it. That's spectacularly fast. The temporary lock is as long as the old lock. Thanks to this full-fledged temporary construction, ships can simply keep on sailing during the works. The temporary lock also makes it possible to build the new lock on the location of the old one.

As part of the European funded project Seine-Scheldt Waterways and Sea Channel NV, the lock in Harelbeke is being renovated. The waterway is adjusted to the arrival of larger ships with bigger loads. The new lock is 230m long and 12.5m wide. It is suitable for push convoys with a length of 185m and it will have middle doors so smaller ships can be locked more quickly.