The Mauvages tunnel




History of the installation :

The Mauvages tunnel, located on the Marne au Rhin West, crosses the dividing line between the Seine and Meuse watersheds.

Of a length of 4,877 metres (this foreseen length is less than the actual length, which is 4,891.70 m), it was built between 1841 and 1846. At least two routes were studied, the current routing and another using the Barboure valley, with a length of 5,235 metres. The solution used, which is shorter than the other, was not chosen at the time because the plants located on the current route in Tréveray, Saint-joire and Evaux would not have had access to the waterway and, consequently, would not have had access to an “extension bringing fortune to their region!!!". Gravitational feed problems also seemed to be an issue.

No serious geological study was carried out for either of the two solutions, given that the geological map of France was only just starting to be developed at the time.

The work was accomplished through 23 wells or 21 to 120 metres in depth. Due the presence of numerous aquifers (there are 4 in certain areas) 4 wells had to be abandoned during drilling, of which one had already reached 40.70m.

The tunnel is operated using an electric-propulsion tug.

Installation characteristics :

- County: Meuse
- Head town east: Mauvages
- Head town west: Demange-aux-Eaux
- Waterway: Marne au Rhin West canal
- Reach: Summit reach No. 1
- Territorial subdivision: Bar-le-Duc - Void Operation: by tug system with overhead power lines in keystone.
- East head kilometre point: 86.618
- West head kilometre point: 91.496
- Guaranteed vertical clearance: 5.00 m
- Guaranteed depth: 2.60 m
- Length: 4877 m
- Width at water surface: 5.30 m
- Date of construction: from 1841 to 1846
- Navigation rectangle: width = 5.30 m, height = 6.40 m
- Tunnel roof height: 8.45 m
- Tunnel roof width: 7.80 m
- Bank width: 1.35 m and 0.80 m at the level of the arch
- Tunnel roof: paving stones and concrete with metallic beam reinforcement on certain sections
- Floor material: Concrete
- Side wall material: paving stones and concrete
- Aeration: 27 chimneys of which 23 are closed
- Lighting: synchronized with progression using low-pressure sodium lamps
- X head east = 837,409.4 (Lambert II cartography coordinates)
- Y head west = 2,403,699.0 (Lambert II cartography coordinates)
- X head east = 832,597.1 (Lambert II cartography coordinates)
- Y head west = 2,402,754.7 (Lambert II cartography coordinates)

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