Innovation and Networks Executive Agency

Water 2012-BE-91125-S

Studies for the improvement of the Charleroi-Brussels canal (E04), section Lembeek-Brussels


The Action was part of a Global Project which aims to upgrade the section Brussels-Lembeek of the Canal Charleroi-Brussels to allow the safe and smooth navigation of 1350 ton ships as a minimum, and possibly Class Va ships if feasible. The upgrade will require substantial works on the section to adapt the waterway, adjust existing locks or build new locks, raise bridges and move a culvert for the river Zenne.

The objective of the Action was to carry out:

  1. Preparatory studies for the full upgrade of the section for the passage of 1350 ton ships (Class IV) and explore at the same time the feasibility of adapting it to class Va.
  2. Design studies for the raising of bridges and rebuilding of the culvert of the river Zenne under the canal in Halle.

The first objective was reached and the studies were delivered within the set timeframe. The conclusion was that it is technically possible to adapt the canal for class IV as well as for class Va ships. This together with the finding of the Environmental Impact Assessment and the socio-economic study reveal that replacement of the four existing locks by four class Va locks and widening up the canal to the class Va profile would be from an economical point of view the best choice. This provides a basis for decision making to upgrade the canal considering both feasible options: class IV and class Va. Part of the studies for meeting the second objective was not finalised in the set timeframe. The designs of two bridges (Zuidbrug and the Nederhembrug) were finished within eligibility period. The design of the culvert will be finalised with a delay due to a change in plan regarding the culvert location. Overall, the Action paved the way for the upgrade of the Canal Charleroi-Brussels to remove bottlenecks on the TEN-T core network.


The Action is closed.


EU contribution: €709,813


Download the Info Sheet about this project.


2012-BE-91125-S Map

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Member States involved:


Implementation schedule:

Start date: February 2013
End date: December 2015


 Flemish Ministry for Mobility and Public Works

Implementing body:

 Waterwegen en Zeekanaan n.v.

Additional information:

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

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