After 85 Years, New Lock Being Built on Baťa Canal. Builders Are Finishing Foundations

27. 3. 2024

Hodonín District is turning into Holland, one might like to joke at the idea that Tomáš Baťa’s once ambitious water management project will finally be complete. Builders are extending the navigability of the Baťa Canal by the last kilometre. Thanks to this, boats will be able to travel from Otrokovice to Hodonín.


The bed of the Radějovka River near the village of Rohatec is currently blocked by a massive sheet pile pit, in which a key element – the lock – is already emerging. The structure’s base plate now has four of the six dilation units concreted. The project also includes the complete reconstruction of the adjacent Sudoměřice weir.

“The project envisaged that we would first repair the weir and, in the meantime, transfer the water through the separate lock pit. However, this would have led to cramped logistics and the risk of the foundation joint under the lock being washed away, so we came up with another solution in agreement with the investor. Both structures are being built in parallel in one large pit and the water is transferred through a side bypass. The change in the pit’s design delayed us slightly at the beginning, but we expect that the new solution will speed up the course of further construction by allowing both structures to be executed simultaneously. The first increased flows in the Morava River have already proved that the pit is functioning well and have not endangered the construction of the lock,” said Lubomír Mik, project manager at Metrostav DIZ.

As the border with Slovakia runs through the centre of the riverbed, the construction site spans the territory of two countries. “The project has several building permits in Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Due to the remoteness of utilities on the Czech side, we found it convenient to connect to electricity via the nearby Slovak port of Skalica. On the other hand, the Slovaks did not allow us to use the asphalt service road, so we had to adapt the dirt road from the Czech I/55 highway to supply the site,” explained Mik.

In the coming months, the builders will complete the foundations so that the concrete pouring for the lock itself and the individual weir sections can begin in the summer. The lock, with a useful length of 38.5 metres and a width of 5.3 metres, will allow a drop of 2.7 metres to be overcome. The architectural design of the waterworks refers to the villages of Rohatec and Sudoměřice in terms of its colours. As the investor insisted that the construction should not affect the boating season, in April the builders will allow the filling of this part of the canal so that the season can start on the traditional date, 1 May.

While Metrostav DIZ builders are working on the lock and weir, their colleagues in the association from SWIETELSKY stavební are working on the remaining parts of the project. The project involves the widening and deepening of an eight hundred metre long section of the Radějovka River, the construction of two bridges and the creation of a large biocorridor covering an area of almost 24 hectares.

The Baťa Canal was built by entrepreneur Tomas Baťa in 1934-1938. The artificially-created waterway with a length of 52 kilometres connected Otrokovice to Sudoměřice and was used mainly for transporting cargo. Today, it is used solely by tourists. However, as the canal to Rohatec or Hodonín could not be navigated in the past, boats had to turn around at the port of Skalica and sail back. Thanks to the lock being built now, they will be able to continue to Hodonín, which opens up completely new horizons for boating tourism in the region.

The construction project, entitled Extension of Navigability of Otrokovice – Rohatec – Rohatec Lock Waterway is managed by the Waterways Directorate, as the investor. The contractor is the Baťa Canal Company, consisting of the leading partner SWIETELSKY stavební and the second partner Metrostav DIZ. The total contract price amounts to CZK 339.8 m excluding VAT. The costs are covered by the State Fund for Transport Infrastructure.

Construction began last summer and is expected to finish in November 2025. The investor is already preparing several follow-up projects that will gradually create an extremely attractive and comfortable boating destination in Hodonín District. One of the most important will be the large new Hodonín swimming harbour.

In recent years, Metrostav Group firms have built on their parent company’s history and successfully implemented a large number of water management structures in the Czech Republic and abroad. By far the largest project was the recently completed reconstruction of the famous Slovak Gabčíkovo–Nagymaros Waterworks. However, the reconstruction of Prague weirs and Hněvkovice waterworks in České Budějovice District, as well as the modernisation of the Hořín waterworks in Mělník District, also bear Metrostav’s signature.

Contact details

Radim Mana
Metrostav Group Spokesman
Metrostav a.s. Koželužská 2450/4 180 00 Prague 8
T 266 019 715, M 601 110 376,