Port of Dunkirk reuses contaminated sediment in road construction

Type of organisation or company
Language for original content
Project elaborated in partnership
Submitted by
Bruno Lemière
Start/End date
Type of funding
Sofie Herman (ENVISAN)

Contaminated sediment from the Port of Dunkirk has been re-used in road structures since 2002, when the Port started to work with the Ecole des Mines de Douai and various industrial partners in order to design alternative materials for stabilised sub-base road layers. After the first laboratory tests, in 2005, a pilot trial carried out to verify the industrial feasibility of the entire process  demonstrated that it was possible to produce alternative road materials according to the relevant French criteria for roads constructed with conventional road materials.

Following these results, the Port decided to continue to work with industrial partners and in 2012 it reconstructed 850m of the road ”Route du Quai Freycinet 12”, designed for 15 years of traffic, with an average of 100 heavy goods vehicles per day. An environmental monitoring analysis confirmed the effectiveness of the treatment by bio-remediation, revealing no problems with organic pollutant levels (BTEX, PCBs, TPH, TOC, PAH) or heavy metals. Some problems with soluble fraction, sulphate and chloride in the sediment originating from the marine environment could be significantly reduced by using a hydraulic binder.

Main results
  • Alternative material for road construction designed and developed using contaminated sediment
  • 1800 m³ of sediment reused
  • 850 m of road reconstructed using newly designed material