Restoration of the Loire riverbed at Orléans

Published on 31 January 2013 - Updated 05 February 2013
Cet article date d'il y a plus de 8 ans

This work involves removing some of the trees behind the Saint-Charles duit (ribbon of stone built in the past in the Loire riverbed to partially channel its flow and facilitate sailing) to allow the water to flow better in periods of high water levels. This is because, over the past 30 years, the vegetation has grown considerably in this sector, which causes the level of the water after heavy rainfall to rise excessively, thereby increasing the risk of flooding. The provisional works schedule is intended to last 3 years in order to plan for an archaeological dig stage which got under way in November 2012.

Located right in the city centre, the project has been conducted so as to respect the remarkable character of the site by working with State departments specialising in the environment, heritage and landscape preservation (DREAL, DDT, DRAC, ONF, ONEMA, ONCFS). This work is being funded by the Centre Region (40%) and the State (60%). 

A strip of woodland will be kept to best preserve the Orléans landscape as well as the remarkable plant and animal species. What's more, any dead or sick trees across the area will be removed. Precautions of use will be taken to avoid the dissemination of invasive plants. 

This site is of particular interest for conducting archaeological digs as Orléans has expanded along the most northern meander of the Loire. A concentration of vestiges dating back to the Neolithic age seem to indicate that the Loire could at one time be crossed on foot – at least in the summer – at this spot. It was on these shoals that bridges would be built, first in the Gallic period and then in the Middle Ages.  

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© ABFPM / Olivier Sampson

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