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Navigating and living on the waterways of Continental Europe and news of canal developments.
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TOPIC: Canal de la Meuse

Canal de la Meuse 02 Apr 2020 16:17 #115082

  • John Wilson
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Sadly there haven't been any commercial boats up or down there for the last 3 years. (Info from Verdun centre) I was with a couple of the last ones that were carrying bankside pilings for the St. Quentin canal which they told me were "too long to go by road"!
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Canal de la Meuse 02 Apr 2020 15:18 #115079

  • David Edwards-May
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I just received a kind message from Adrien Quivoron of VNF, promising to get back to us as soon as he has information from the staff on the Canal de la Meuse. You are assimilated to "operators". Honestly, like the regretted Guy Toye, and Bob and others, I keep insisting on the importance of taking into consideration all users and not just the professionals, but they are strangely formated to consider our community as just a group of individual users, with nothing like the same sense of urgency as for companies that sell a product. Perhaps I should come back to VNF and point out that you are the biggest "operator" on the French waterways by number of licensed vessels! Of course VNF are looking forward to stage 4 of the crisis and the return to "a normal life". (We are in the middle of stage 3.)
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…nous sommes en train de nous renseigner pour vous apporter la réponse la plus précise possible. Je reviendrai vers vous à ce sujet. N’hésitez pas à demander aux opérateurs en question de se rapprocher de nous et nous ferons bien évidemment le lien. Nous comprenons les difficultés des opérateurs et l’ensemble des équipes de VNF se tiennent prêt pour le jour où nous passerons au stade 4 de la crise et pourrons repartir vers une « vie normale ».
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Canal de la Meuse 31 Mar 2020 13:33 #115033

> On the French side the barrages with hydropower capacity (as far as Dun sur Meuse I think) were built long back, 50 years or more. Has there been some recent development this year that I have missed?

Early last year, I travelled the entire Meuse and Canal de la Meuse from the Dutch border to its end and then on to Nancy and Strasbourg. As David E-M says, there are many new and under-construction low-head generating weirs adjacent to locks along the Canal de la Meuse. All were new although possibly they are replacing earlier ones.

I was unaware of depth problems but did alert the DBA representative who was soon to attend a regional VNF meeting that I had concerns about the state of the bank at places along this canal. Bank erosion had left a very narrow strip with lower-lying fields beyond. The wash from one or two speeding boats was over-topping this narrow strip and it appeared that it may soon be breached and the canal water could end up in the fields!

With the Ardennes being long-term closed, it would be a real disaster if the Meuse ended up closed too.

Peter

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Canal de la Meuse 31 Mar 2020 10:48 #115029

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Some years ago on the Belgian side all the barrages were rebuilt and the channel deepened as far as Givet port, to where there is still regular commercial traffic. On the French side the barrages with hydropower capacity (as far as Dun sur Meuse I think) were built long back, 50 years or more. Has there been some recent development this year that I have missed? Early June last year, the going was pretty slow between locks 2,3 and 4. and in some other places too. No dredging has been done there for ages. It was closed a few weeks later.

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Canal de la Meuse 30 Mar 2020 11:28 #115006

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Yes, extreme situations on inland waterways in all parts of the world are sadly becoming more extreme, both drought and floods. However, VNF has invested massively in new weirs on the Meuse in recent years, and this is a multi-functional waterway par excellence, with low-head hydropower production added at the new weirs. The silt is likely to be a problem where lock-cuts enter the river, and doesn't have to be a huge dredging operation. It will take time, though, with no doubt a series of sites to be treated. But let's not be unnecessarily pessimistic. I will post here any information I can get from VNF engineers. Best wishes to all
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Canal de la Meuse 27 Mar 2020 17:02 #114942

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An avis this afternoon has announced the closure of the Canal de la Meuse for the time being from lock 1 to lock 58, almost it's entire length in France, due to siltation.
Given the time it took to dredge the affected areas last time this happened, the cost and magnitude of the task this time will be enormous, even to reduced draught limits. Last year it was only open throughout for a couple of months. One wonders if this might be the death knell of the Meuse as a through route. Complete lack of commercial traffic, cycles of flood and drought seem to me to make this an increasingly likely scenario.
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