Innovation and Networks Executive Agency

Water 2012-BE-91091-P

The Albert Canal: lifting of bridges and upgrading to class VIb (part 3)


An important part of the traffic on the Albert Canal consists of container transport. The canal also provides opportunities for Short Sea Shipping. The infrastructure in and around the Albert Canal had to be adjusted to meet the needs of the growth of goods shipment in general and of container transport in particular that is expected in the future. The accessibility of the Albert Canal for Short Sea Shipping had also to be improved. The Action was part of a Global Project which aims to achieve by 2020 the following two objectives:

- the lifting of all the bridges over the Albert Canal to a under bridge-clearance of 9.10m allowing four-layer container transport on the Albert Canal and making it more easily accessible for Short Sea Shipping

- the expansion of the wet section of the Albert Canal between Wijnegem and Antwerp, a 9 km stretch, up to a minimum of 380 m2 to make it accessible for Class VIb ships over its entire length, from Antwerp to Liège.

In line with the overall priorities of the Global Project, the Action focused on two objectives. One was lifting of the Houtlaanbridge at Wijnegem from an under bridge-clearance of 7 metres to 9.1m. The second objective was widening of the canal at Merksem in order to create a wet section of 380 m2 and upgrade this section to class VIb. This included the construction of a new road, the realisation of a new bank, the demolition and removal of the existing bank constructions.The Action contributed to the Flemish objective of upgrading the Albert Canal which will have impact on the loading capacity of the inland waterway vessels and on inland waterway traffic.


The Action is closed.


EU contribution: €661,648


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Member States involved:


Implementation schedule:

Start date: March 2014
End date: December 2015


 Flemish Government

Implementing body:

 De Scheepvart

Additional information:

 European Commission, DG MOVE
 Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA)​

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