The objective of this Action, part of Priority Project 30 (Inland Waterway Axis Seine-Scheldt) is to upgrade the River Deûle between Sequedin and Deûlémont from Class IV to Class V in order to allow the navigation of ships of up to 3,000 tonnes.
Up to now this stretch had a cross section that allowed freight traffic up to 1,350 tonnes only. In addition, stretch's width was reduced at two different points in the proximity of Lille. This bottleneck requires a light system to be used which delays the traffic.
The Global Project seeks to eliminate this bottleneck at the cross border section. This Action promotes inland waterways transport by giving access to the Nord-Pas-de-Calais network to additional European shipments. A 70% increase in the traffic flow is foreseen by 2015, which corresponds to a traffic of 13.5 million tonnes instead of the initial 8 million tonnes currently. This increase in the inland waterway traffic represents an estimated reduction of 300,000 trucks per year on the road in the region.