For the first time since winter 2001-2002, the Canal Saint-Martin has been completely emptied to undergo a major cleaning! This drainage takes place from January 4th to April 4th 2016, for 3 months, from the place de la Bataille de Stalingrad to rue du Faubourg du Temple, where are respectively located the first and eighth lock. In 2015, works had already been done on the 9th lock.
A huge construction site
In order to achieve these repairs, it had to entirely empty the canal of its water, but also many fishes, such as carps, perches or pikes. They were captured by a specialised company, which released them upstream or downstream of the site. The silt will be then removed. Indeed, over the years, mud and silt have accumulated naturally in the water. Cleaning up will help to prevent the risk of floods but also accidents. In the mud, the teams of the City of Paris also make surprising discoveries: bicycles, scooters, bottles of wine or beer, trolleys, wallets or strollers. These objects have been left there by Parisians and tourists, or just fell into the water accidentally. For the duration of the works, the river traffic is interrupted, and the docks are closed to walk by railings.
The big plus: on these same grids, 4 free exhibitions about the Canal Saint-Martin, its history, its role in Parisian life and its cleaning will be offered for free during these three months. The public can also discover the fauna and flora of the canal, since there are more than 90 species living there (blue tits, ducks, freshwater mussels, grey herons, eels etc.). This is an opportunity to grant a walk as unusual as life-saving, in the heart of the capital!