The River Marne

The Vaires canal links Neuilly-sur-Marne with Vaires-sur-Marnes (Seine-et-Marne).
This section of the Marne was originally not navigable and, under the reign of Napoleon III, was converted to make it suitable for inland water transport. The construction of the canal thus meant the boats could avoid considerable and expensive detours to reach the Seine at Charenton.
The State dug the canal between 1848 and 1962, using insurgents employed in the national workshops.
The process isolated a stretch of land between the Marne and the canal, known as the Haute-Île.
The difference in height between the bed of the Marne and that of the canal was significant, so a lock was built, surmounted by a bridge giving access to the Haute-Île.
Trade in goods is significant, and in summer the canal is used for recreational boats.