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hectares reserved in the sea


Million passengers per year


Minutes at the dock to load and unload ships

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France’s largest and Europe’s second largest passenger port, millions of tourists and carriers embark and disembark at the Port of Calais each year.

To continue to bring the United Kingdom and the European continent closer together, the port of Calais is undergoing a transformation. The aim is to accommodate increasing numbers of travelers and more modern ships in the utmost comfort. A port is a place of transit, a gateway: travelers’ time is precious, and Arcadis and its partners – Bouygues Construction, Spie Batignolles and Jan De Nul Group – are determined to keep their journeys as quick as possible.

To accommodate more ships and save time on docking and boarding, space is needed.

And because the Port of Calais does not have any more free space on the ground, it was necessary to find the 115 hectares required to improve the accommodation of travelers elsewhere: on the sea.

The project includes a new 3.3 km seawall to form a second ship docking area, north of the current site. This dock will be the deepest in the Port, in order to accommodate larger ships. A new 44-hectare terminal will be built through the re-use of excavated land and will be equipped with efficient road and rail facilities to optimize passenger and cargo transit. 

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    Taking the solution

    Building on the water is always a major technical challenge. The risks are numerous: weather, storms, powerful waves that can damage construction facilities etc. Therefore, many parameters and types of expertise must be considered in order to succeed in such a mission. With its extensive, cross-disciplinary expertise and powerful modeling tools, Arcadis was tasked by the Société des Ports du Détroit (SEPD) to lead the design and engineering phase, as well as to oversee the construction, along with its partners Bouygues Construction, Spie Batignolles and Jan De Nul Group. All of this while controlling the project’s financial and environmental costs. 

Ships at the dock for no more than 45 minutes!

Having more space to combine rail, road and sea in the new terminal will allow ferries to dock and board faster, in 45 minutes max. The development of more modern infrastructure, such as kiosks to automate ship-access controls, will also help reduce passenger wait times. State-of-the-art ships can now easily be accommodated at the Port of Calais and sail safely. Therefore, beyond the appeal of this contemporary, more spacious port, the entire area will become even more vibrant, through easier foreign trade and new maritime jobs.

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