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Thomas Deschamps
Chef de projet Environnement
Published on August 27, 2019

Reading time : 3 min

In Clichy, excavated waste takes the aerial route!

How about using urban ropeways to carry things other than passengers? For example, rubble and excavated earth from building sites! The aim: generate less dust, less noise disturbance and less pollution than with road transport solutions.

Téléphérique de déblaiement - ecoquartier du Bac, Clichy

- Crédits : Egis - Thomas Deschamps

A 45,000 m² real estate development conducted by Redman in the Le Bac eco-district of Clichy-la-Garenne (north-west of Paris), requires the demolition of existing buildings and the excavation of 2 hectares of land to a depth of eight metres.

This is a tough challenge for our teams working in a consortium with AD Ingé (lead contractor) and S’PACE Architecture & Environnement, appointed by the planner Citallios to conduct and supervise earthmoving works and the removal of excavated earth, much of which happens to be polluted. In total, some 250,000 tonnes of earth and rubble must be removed from a zone which already has a lot of construction sites in its perimeter.

Having studied a range of options, our consortium incorporated the rubble ropeway solution into the works design process, in response to the strong desire of the local council to reduce the building site’s impact. This is a unique system in France: a ropeway carrying excavated earth to transport barges on the banks of the River Seine.

Excavation cable transport: a building site innovation

Today, a cable transport installation is now in place for a scheduled seven month period, running from the building site to barges moored approximately 400 m away on the banks of the Seine along Quai de Clichy.

This solution is a first in France in an urban zone. Design exclusively for this project by the company Mecamont Hydro, the ropeway is 490 m in length and is made up of two lines working independently of each other. Each of the four suspended buckets can carry up to 20 tonnes of rubble towards the riverside, representing approximately 200 tonnes of earth per hour and 1,500 tonnes per day.

Avoiding 80 trucks per day

Within the consortium, our teams were required to take into accounts the constraints arising from the scale of these earthworks in a dense urban environment, and align the innovative urban ropeway project with technical requirements as regards the processing of polluted excavated earth and the existence of adequate outlets accessible by waterway.

Attentive to the well-being of his town’s inhabitants, the Mayor of Clichy, Rémy Muzeau, has welcomed this particularly innovative solution which focuses on removing waste by river, therefore supplanting evacuation by land which would have entailed a rotation of nearly 80 trucks per day, representing the equivalent of 2 tonnes of carbon dioxide, and caused major disturbances in terms of noise, dust and road congestion in this sector.

An environmentally responsible building project

  • The use of river transport to remove excavated earth, an alternative mode which reduces disturbances to neighbours and causes less harm to the environment (road congestion, air pollution, noise, etc.).
  • Minimal use made of trucks, which are nonetheless necessary to carry primarily demolition rubble and to build the ropeway foundations.
  • Dust abatement: truck wheel washer, atomiser and manual watering of demolition zones, also taking account of wind conditions and suspending work during windy weather.
  • Reduction of noise pollution: measuring noise using a sound level meter to ensure compliance with regulatory noise levels.
  • Cleaning and restoration of neighbouring roads.
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