Information about the 11km long Canal de Pommeroeul à Condé


The Canal de Pommerœul à Condé was opened in 1982 to link the busy commercial waterway networks of Northern France and Belgium, but had to be closed less than 10 years later, following heavy siltation. The canal is included in this guide since the large-scale dredging works and other improvements are planned as part of the overall Seine-Scheldt project. The canal is expected to be reopened by 2021 (with 42% eu funding). It extends over a distance of 12km from Pommerœul, on the Nimy-Blaton-Péronnes canal in Wallonian Region of Belgium, to Condé, on the canalised river Escaut. The French part is 5.5km long, but for convenience the whole length is given in the route description. The modern canal completely bypasses the former route through the historic walled town of Condé-sur-l’Escaut. This attractive site is therefore no longer accessible by boat, but it is shown on the large-scale plan of the junction for reference, also because of the possibility of access being reopened if our suggestion of reestablishing a connection is taken up.

History – The cross-border Canal de Mons à Condé was started by order of Napoleon in 1807, when Belgium was part of France, and inaugurated in 1818. It was re-routed in 1968 to make way for a motorway in Belgium. Originally built with locks of Freycinet size (the péniche flamande is the craft from which the Freycinet gauge was derived), the new cut from Pommerœul to Condé  was built to Class IV dimensions in 1980, but soon fell into disuse due to siltation. There are two locks 145 by 12.50 m in Belgium, none in France. The canal is to be dredged and reopened in 2021 as part of the Seine-Scheldt waterway incorporating the new Seine-Nord Europe Canal.

Key Waterway Dimensions

  • Max Beam: 12m
  • Max Height: 5.25m
  • Max Draught: 3.00m

Local Waterway Links


Locks – The canal has two large locks (100 by 12m, with intermediate gates), both on the Belgian section.

Draught – 3.00m on completion of the planned dredging works.

Headroom – The bridges offer a minimum headroom of 5.25m (at highest water level). Authority – VNF – Direction territoriale Nord – Pas de Calais – 22 chemin du halage, BP 2025, 59321 Valenciennes cedex (for the French section)
The entrance to the canal from the Escaut is currently blocked off by a string of red buoys. ©DEM


Click to enlarge

Canal de Pommeroeul a Conde waterway strip

Route description

PK 0.0     Junction with canalised Escaut d/s of Fresnes lock
PK 0.8     Bridge (Pont du Bastringue, D935)
PK 2.3     Basin (we have suggested building a connection here with old cut to Condé, r/b)
PK 4.9     Saint-Aybert bridge, small village 200m l/b
PK 5.5     Belgium-France border
PK 6.2     Lock (Hensies)
PK 7.0     Bridge (Sartis), factory d/s r/b
PK 9.7     Pommerœul bridge, village 1000m l/b
PK 10.9     Railway bridge, basin d/s
PK 11.1     Lock (Pommerœul), bridgeConde-s-EscautPlan
PK 11.6     Junction with Nimy-Blaton-Péronnes canal in Belgium