Key project data
The EU project Blue Links is a scheme aiming at the re-opening to navigation of the DeûleEscaut link.
37 million Euros are needed for its completion and funded as follows:
Consequently, thanks to a large scale restoration scheme and to the participation and mobilisation of Europe, Voies Navigables de France, the Lille Metropolitan Council, the Wallonian Ministry of Public Works, the Water Agency and the Conseil Général,
The Deûle - Escaut link
Of a total length of 28 kilometres, the transboarder Deûle-Escaut link includes, in the North region of France, the canalised Marque and the Roubaix canal and on the Belgian side, the Espierre canal in the Hainaut and the Western Flanders regions.
The canal reaches a summit level at 33,90 metres thanks to 7 locks on the Deûle side and 8 on the Escaut side.
Class of the canal
The class retained for the restoration works is that of the original canal, i.e. boats dimensions: 38.50x5.05m, maximum draught: 1.80m and air draught 3.70m.
However, budget and space restrictions for the disposal of the sediments led to a draught reduction to 1.60m.
The effective depth of the canal will vary from 1.90 to 2.20m. In case of a peak load of the traffic on the canal, and as a result repeated locking through cycles, the shorter pounds must be deeper than the long ones in order not to disturb the traffic. The summit level pound will also be 2.20m deep and will serve as an important reserve of water with its 3 260m long complemented by the 1 220m of the Tourcoing branch.
Who does what ?
> Voies navigables de France
VNF is in charge of the restoration of the locks, the bank protection, the dredging and disposal of the sediments, water supply of the canal and the management centre (lock operation and water supply).
> Lille Metropolitan Council (LMCU)
Second investor after VNF, LMCU is in charge of paths and plantings, the lagooning, the re-building and restoration of footbridges, the restoration to full operation of the movables bridges.
>The Wallonian Region, through the Wallonian Ministry of Public Works, will deal with all the works in Belgium.
> Conseil Régional
As competent for waterway tourism matters, the Région is in charge of the development of boating facilities.
> Conseil Général
The "département" deals with the refurbishment of the bridges of Grimonpont in Leers and Blanc Sceau in Tourcoing.
Several nations are partners of the project.
The funding is secured by 10 entities, almost 50% of which by the EU (ERDF Objective 2 et Interreg IIIB).
Breakdown of the funding