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Les Mureaux: nautical museum, restaurant… the new life of the lock subject to consultation

Évelyne, 87, has lived in Les Mureaux (Yvelines) for half a century. During her daily walk on the banks of the Seine, this dapper grandmother stops in front of the lock of the city, which she knew was in working order. “There was the grocer, where barge owners came to get supplies, and her husband’s plumbing just next door…” Today, the buildings are walled up and abandoned, like the site closed in the years 1960, just a century after its inauguration by Charles-Louis de Saulces de Freycinet, Minister of Public Works.

At the time, the old locks and their dam, which has disappeared, stood on the Seine in a channel pierced for the passage of boats. Today, to the west of the towpath, the lock is visible and the remains of a buttress of the dam can be seen. On the artificial island (7 hectares), the few houses, including that of the lockmaster at the western end, are surrounded by vegetation and secured by chain-link fences.

“A rarity in Île-de-France”

Property of the State, the site is now managed by Voies navigables de France (VNF), which is about to launch a call for projects for its future. The goal is to make the place available in order to bring out projects that could be carried out by public and private actors.

“We have been approached a lot, confirms Dominique Ritz, regional director at VNF. Public works, river transport or energy-related companies… This confirms that the waterway is regaining interest and our mission is to enhance our public domain. The Mureaux site is a rarity in Île-de-France. »

In this process, the town hall of Les Mureaux is organizing a citizen consultation until May 15 in order to develop ways of developing and occupying the place. “Everything is to be built, but with the aim of a controlled project between the different actors, I plead for a place turned towards the environment, between nature and leisure”, specifies François Garay, the mayor (DVG) of the municipality of 32,000 inhabitants.

On the towpath, walkers have their opinion. Delphine and Jérôme, who came with their three children from Verneuil-sur-Seine, are thinking of “a great restaurant”, when Frédéric and Soizik, Muriautins for twenty-two years, would see “an educational farm”, or Cécile, on a walk for Flins, dream of “a nautical museum”. This last track almost saw the light of day in the old paper mill located on the quays.

“I hear about service stations for boats…”

Éric, 49, grew up on the island when his father worked on the site at the Departmental Equipment Directorate. He is now installed on the towpath and participated in the first public meeting organized last weekend. “The town hall is launching a citizen consultation but it is not she who will be in the final maneuver, specifies the local resident. As it was mentioned at one point, I would have preferred that the city buy the site but it seems that the price displayed was dissuasive. »

“Yes, there were discussions four or five years ago, confirms Dominique Ritz. Today, we will go to the end of the call for projects process which should be completed by the end of the year, but it is not excluded to rent part of the site. For the sake of consensus, a clause in the contract of the future winner of the call for projects will oblige him to discuss with the community.

“We understood that the manager wanted the project to be profitable, adds Léa, who has lived for five years on the barge Océane, docked at the entrance to the canal. I hear about a service station for boats… We are going to fight and the town hall must put pressure to be heard because this place deserves a good rehabilitation. »

The place is indeed crossed by the greenway which connects the leisure island of the Val de Seine to Flins. First industrial area of ​​Les Mureaux, it has always generated mobility and trade and is today in a space classified as a natural area. “We are also constrained by the flood risk prevention plan,” concludes Mayor François Garay, who will survey the region, the Greater Paris Seine & Oise urban community and the department.

On the Seine, five other lock dams had been built at the same time: Méricourt, Port-Villez, Notre-Dame-de-la-Garenne (Eure), Aufreville and Saint-Aubin (Seine-Maritime).

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