Between Ménétréol-sous-Sancerre and Nevers the Canal latéral à la Loire crosses the Allier River, a tributary to the Loire. To do this, the waterway climbs via a deep double lock to the Pont-canal-Guétin, a canal bridge over the Allier. Pont-canal-Guétin is 370-meters long and is one of the longest canal bridges in France.
The Canal latéral à la Loire has three impressive pont-canals. Besides the Pont-canal-Guétin there is the 243-meter long Pont-canal de Digoin ahead on our route and the 662-meter long Briare Aqueduct, the longest pont-canal in France. All told, a boat traveling the length of the Canal latéral à la Loire will travel well over a kilometer on these aqueducts.
Today the Canal latéral à la Loire is largely the domain of the hire boats, hotels, and privately owned boats like Wanderlust. The commercial traffic that once justified the construction of these pont-canals and the other impressive feats of canal infrastructure is largely gone.
(Wanderlust crossed the Pont-canal-Guétin on the 20th of May 2015.)