The EU's TEN-T Programme will co-finance with over €2 million studies on the development of a cross-border canal linking The Seine in France and Scheldt (Escaut) rivers in Belgium. The canal is expected to facilitate the water transport between the Paris metropolitan area and the ports of Dunkerque, Antwerp and Rotterdam.
The studies will focus on the cross-border section of the canal between Compiègne (France) and Ghent (Belgium) with the aim to increase the canal's capacity and improve the level of waterway services.
In particular, the studies will look into:
-Upgrading the Quesnoy lock to a large gauge network
-Modernising the Nord-Pas-de-Calais network in order to improve its infrastructure for the period 2010-2040
-Upgrading the Deûle and a new trajectory of the Deûle-Lys axis for class Va vessels
-Doubling the Fontinettes lock
-Upgrading the Oise river to Vb gauge
-Raising the Mours bridge and temporary lowering the 'Isle Adam' canal pound
These studies will help improve the accessibility of the Seine-Scheldt link to large gauge vessels and offer an effective greener alternative to road transport.
The project was selected for EU funding with the assistance of external experts under the TEN-T Multi-Annual Call 2013, Priority Projects. 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.
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.