Renovated Perex traffic control centre also in charge of Walloon waterways
Construction works have started on the renovation and extension of the Walloon Perex 4.0 traffic control centre in Dassoulx. The centre will now be in charge of the waterways and locks too.
“The objective of this renovations is to enhance the intelligent road network management to face the increasing traffic”, said Minister Carlo Di Antonio at the beginning of the construction works. Not only will the centre evolve to deal with road traffic, it will also be in charge of waterways and of all its locks, elevators and dams.
The Perex centre’s job will control boat traffic on the waterways. It will also be in charge of some of the new remote controlled locks. “This integration will take about 5 to 10 years and some locks with more specific characteristics will still be controlled on site”, explains Yvon Loyaerts, DGO2 Hydraulic Ways’ managing director.
Record year for waterways
Today, about 40 million tons of freight are transported each year on Wallonia’s waterways. It represents about 2 million lorries on the road. After having known a slight decrease in traffic with Liège’s steel mills closing, inland waterway traffic is gaining in popularity. This year, it might even break its 2008 record.
Integrating the waterways traffic management at the Perex Centre will therefore help to deal with ever-increasing traffic thanks to an optimization of the transmission of information. Yvon Loyaerts predicts that half of the lock keepers will keep their current job, but the rest will be reassigned to other tasks.
Live traffic management
Construction works on the Daussoulx site are estimated at 30 million euro. The new 4.000 m2 complex should be operational by 2019 after going through a thorough modernization of its technical equipment. New technologies’ integration will take some additional months.
The number of camera control points will be increased (currently 221) and the communications will be enhanced thanks to a new fibre optics network. A new control post for pre-winter alerts or emergency situations will also be put up. The objective is to have a proactive and live traffic management.