On the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the “Yes to the Canal” mobilisation launched by elected representatives and economic players in Péronne (Somme) in September 2017, the Seine-Nord Europe Canal Society (SCSNE) and the project partners met on 15 September 2022 in Amiens (Somme). They discussed the progress made and the challenges to be met (on technical, human, environmental and economic levels), in order to make a collective success of the Seine-Nord Europe Canal, which is the future central link (107 km) of the Seine-Scheldt cross-border waterway link.
Photo credit: CRSomme CBazin
In 5 years, the Canal (with an estimated cost of €5 billion) has moved from the project stage to an increasingly concrete reality in the territories, generating a dynamic with almost 500 people already mobilised. Several key steps have already been taken:
– its funding has been confirmed. As the first financial partner, the European Union confirmed its commitment (€2.1 billion grant from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) for the Seine-Scheldt cross-border network) in its implementing decision of 27 June 2019. This one is implemented by the partners of the Seine-Scheldt EEIG. The State (€1.1 billion) and the local authorities (equally €1.1 billion contributed by the Hauts-de-France and Ile-de-France Regions, and the Nord, Oise, Pas-de-Calais and Somme Departments) also committed themselves in a financing agreement signed on 22 November 2019 in Nesle (Pas-de-Calais);
The detailed studies were carried out within the framework of a broad consultation process, making it possible to specify the final scope of the facilities, to create the conditions for their acceptance on the ground and to define the terms of their implementation.
– the land procedures have been largely undertaken, in a spirit of respect for the owners and occupants and systematically promoting the amicable settlement;
– compensatory environmental development has begun (over 10,000 trees planted) and is accelerating (165 hectares of wetland restoration and afforestation conversion out of more than 1,100 hectares planned), with the ultimate ambition of a gain in biodiversity;
– the environmental authorisation for sector 1 (18 km from Compiègne to Passel in the Oise department) was obtained on 8 April 2021, giving the green light for the start of preparatory work. The procedures for sectors 2, 3 and 4 (89 km from Passel to Aubencheul-au-Bac in the Nord) were initiated this year, with the aim of obtaining authorisation in March 2024;
In 2022, in sector 1, the two quays at Ribécourt and Pimprez are being completed and the first major works have been launched: construction of a new road at Pimprez and 3 new bridges on the RD 66, relocation of the river Oise, construction of two hydraulic structures (weir and siphon). This will be followed in 2023 by the start of work on the Montmacq lock, and then in 2024 by the start of earthworks on the canal. Work on sectors 2, 3 and 4 will start in 2024-2025. Work will be in full swing along the entire length of the canal until 2030, when the entire Seine-Scheldt network will be brought into service.
For more information:
– New web site : www.canal-seine-nord-europe.fr
Photo credit: Mégacité Amiens@Lachant Michael hdf