In Toulouse, the Canal du Midi is completely dry on a section: surprising images

The Canal du Midi, completely dry, at the Minimes lock, in Toulouse. (© Dumez)

Walkers have probably noticed it. THE Canal du Midi is dry at the Minimes lockat the heart of Toulouse. The reason ? The site is the subject of major works carried out by French Waterways (VNF) South-West for a few days. Work that will still last a few weeks and will require leaving the canal empty.

What types of work are carried out in the heart of Toulouse? “The aim here is to modernize the lock, which required emptying the two reaches (portion of canal between two locks, editor’s note) upstream and downstream of the structure”, indicates to Toulouse news VNF which specifies:

Total emptying and salvage fishing

“Total emptying of the upstream and downstream reaches was necessary for the installation of under-river stainless steel tubes, intended for the passage of electric cables”.

The emptying began on January 23. A rescue fishery was carried out on this occasion saving “1200 kg of fish, including 700 kg of white fish (roach, bream, bleak) as well as beautiful specimens of pike-perch, perch, black-bass, catfish and carp”. , said the Haute-Garonne Fishing Federation.

Construction in three phases

After emptying, it is the Specialized Maintenance Center of VNF Sud-Ouest which is now in charge of a project which is taking place in three joint phases. VNF explains that it first “replaced the lock’s electrical cabinet, which required the use of a crane for, among other things, the removal of the existing cabinet and the installation of the new cabinet, which is located at the foot of the downstream lock”.

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The hydraulic system has also been changed.

“The current system of hydraulic cylinders, allowing the operation of the gates (valves, editor’s note) and the gate located downstream of the lock, is replaced by an electrical system, in order to standardize the operation of the lock” , specifies VNF.

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To carry out the work at the Minimes lock, the two reaches of the Canal du Midi had to be drained.
To carry out the work at the Minimes lock, the two reaches of the Canal du Midi had to be drained. (© Toulouse)

Gateway and remote control

The lock will be the first in Haute-Garonne to be equipped with airlock lights and the BCSF system (operation by remote control).

The footbridges, which make it possible to cross the canal at the level of the lock, have also been changed.

When you empty the canal, you are never safe from a bad surprise.
When you empty the canal, you are never safe from a bad surprise. (© Dumez)

Works finished at the end of February

This lock renovation marks the end of the renovation of all the locks in the center of Toulouse, which took place over four years during non-working periods. The work should be completed before navigation resumes at the end of February.

Currently, major works are also taking place to the south-east of Toulouse, at the Montgiscard lock.

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