Canal latéral à la Loire

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Canal latéral à la Loire
Canal Latéral a la Loire Marseilles les Aubigny.jpg
The port on the canal at Marseilles-lès-Aubigny
Specifications
Length 196.1 km (121.9 mi) [1]
Locks 37 [1] or 38 [2]
History
Construction began 1827
Date completed 1938
Geography
Start point Canal de Briare at Briare
End point Canal du Centre at Digoin [2]
Beginning coordinates 47°37′55″N 2°44′12″E / 47.63197°N 2.73671°E / 47.63197; 2.73671 at aqueduct crossing Loire in Briare
Ending coordinates 46°28′39″N 3°58′50″E / 46.47756°N 3.98053°E / 46.47756; 3.98053 at aqueduct crossing Loire in Digoin
Branch(es) Embranchement de Châtillon
Connects to Canal de Briare, Canal du Centre

The Canal Latéral à la Loire was constructed between 1827 and 1838 to connect the Canal de Briare at Briare and the Canal du Centre at Digoin, a distance of 196 km. It replaced the use of the River Loire which had reliability problems arising from winter floods and summer droughts. Aqueducts were used to cross the River Allier at Le Guétin (in the commune of Cuffy) and the River Loire at Digoin, but because of the extreme length required, one was not built to cross the Loire River at Briare until 1896 when the Briare aqueduct was constructed.

History[edit]

By the late 18th century with the completion of the Canal du Centre, the Bourbonnais route from the Seine to the Saône was substantially the same as at present, except for the use of the navigable Loire between Briare and Digoin. The introduction of steam haulage and dredging failed to produce the reliability of the canals, so it was in 1822 that the order to build was finally given to the Compagnie des Quatre Canaux. Although the original intention was to place the canal on the right bank, the towns of Nevers, la Charité and Cosne had no room for a canal and eventually construction started in 1827 on a canal on the left bank. Two massive stone aqueducts were built at Digoin and at Guétin to avoid level crossings of rivers with length 243m and 470m respectively, but this was not possible at Briare because of the danger of blocking the river during flood periods.

With the adoption of the Freycinet gauge in 1879, and the upgrading of the canal system, the frequent delays of several days to cross the Loire at Briare became intolerable and a 662m steel aqueduct was built across the Loire to connect to the Canal de Briare by Abel Mazoyer. This is part of the Canal Latéral à la Loire, not the Canal de Briare.

En Route[edit]

Cruise traffic in Briare
Canal latéral à la Loire route map

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b McKnight, Hugh (2005). Cruising French Waterways, 4th Edition. Sheridan House. pp. 172–177. ISBN 978-1-57409-087-1. 
  2. ^ a b c Jefferson, David (2009). Through the French Canals. Adlard Coles Nautical. pp. 127–129. ISBN 978-1-4081-0381-4. 

External links[edit]