In the thirties it took seven days to sail from Antwerp to Liege. Currently this distance in about 18 hours hazards. The canal runs parallel with the King Baudouin Motorway or E313. It is through the channel-Briegden Neerharen associated with the South Willemsvaart water and returns it. Besides the channel transport is also important for the water supply of the Antwerp region that depends on the Meuse water through the channel is invoked.
Between Genk and Liège are no locks, but they went on to dig up a 60 m deep gorge through the St. Peter in Kanne. Ternaaien between Liege and "floats" the channel again if it were above the lower ground floor. Furthermore there are also tuikabelbruggen on, such as Ternaaien and never opened in God's Heath.
The channel would also act as defense. Together with the French Maginot Line was a protection against an attack from the east. Through the locks could be the channel until the edge filling or discharge water. Also on the western embankment was built bunkers and resistance nests within sight of each other.
The canal was planned in the twenties because the former link between the two cities through existing channels more than overzadigd was Kempen. There were often long queues by the Maastricht constraints, Herentals and locks from Blue Kei. Moreover, in 1934 in the Netherlands Juliana Canal opened, and thus the transport industry for the Liège region threatened to go to Rotterdam.
Only the part Ternaaien Kwaadmechelen-and-Hasselt Herentals had yet to be dug, it appealed more to the already existing channel Maastricht-Liège, and the coal canal Bocholt-Herentals canal between Antwerp and Herentals. The first graft was given on May 31, 1930 by King Albert I. The official opening of the entire canal was done by King Leopold III and Queen Elizabeth on July 30, 1939, during the "Saison Internationale de l'Eau" in Liège. It was also the statue of Albert I revealed that the southern entrance of the channel controls.
The festival would last for several months, but had to be demolished in early September due to the outbreak of World War II. This was also shifted to the commissioning in 1946, because the German invasion were almost all destroyed bridges and locks (see also previous article on Fort Eben-Emael, that the bank of the canal).
The canal was originally built for vessels with a maximum capacity of 2000 tons and were based on traffic at a time 15 million tonnes. This volume was the postwar economic boom has reached mid-fifties and in 1969 the record figure of 40 million tonnes. To cope with this growth was quickly decided to modernize the canal. After the widening works and the replacement of bridges and locks the channel is now available for push towing convoys of 4 containers (9000 tonnes). The water depth is 3.40 m and the free height is 6.70 m.
The route between the port of Antwerp and the lock Wijnegem remains a bottleneck, because of the industry along the canal could be making it up to lack of broadening with 2 barges (4,500 tons) can travel. Originally wanted to work around this issue between Oelegem Zandvliet and the so-called push towing canal building. The work was started but is especially under pressure from environmental activists, the project was prematurely called off. Silent witness of this structure is called E10 and Schoten Brasschaat to pee.
A new phase called modernization is already in the nineties when the rapidly increasing container traffic in the port of Antwerp by the lighter outlet and barges continued to grow. For this growth to absorb and transport water to further encourage the canal was widened and the bridges are raised. After years of political discussions, the channel at the beginning of the 21st century at several locations addressed.
Yet the section between the port and Wijnegem a bottleneck by its narrow width and low bridges. The decision on this expansion, the Flemish Government adopted on April 23, 2004. We created the Economic Network Albert to become one plan to prepare. In order to achieve this expansion, while many people go obsolete industrial sites in this document address. In 2007 followed the course of preparatory work and information sessions and exhibitions. The first work on the bridges themselves starting late January 2008 with Noorderlaan Bridge. The increase of the bridge was planned in 2 phases, with Phase 1 runs from 2008 to 2014 and phase 2 from 2014 to 2016.  The expansion itself is under a separate schedule and would be completed between 2008-2016.
Between the canal and the road was too little space to start with housing. But room enough for industry. So it is really just an elongated piece next to the Albert industry. There are some major industrial areas along arise, including:
* Industry Herentals
* Industry-Oevel Yellow
* Raven Wood in Beringen (the second largest industrial area of Limburg nitrite)
* Genk-Zuid, Port
The lock at Diepenbeek
Between Liege and Antwerp is a decline of 56 meter. In order to bridge height, six locks, each with three locks built.
* Wijnegem: 2 locks of 136 m × 16 m, 1 lock of 24 m × 200 m - 5.70 m of decline
* Olen: 2 locks of 136 m × 16 m, 200 m × 1 lock of 24 m - 10 m of decline
* Kwaadmechelen: 2 locks of 136 m × 16 m, 200 m × 1 lock of 24 m - 10 m of decline
* Hasselt, in the hamlet of God Heide: 2 locks of 136 m × 16 m, 1 lock of 24 m × 200 m - 10.10 m of decline
* Diepenbeek: 2 locks of 136 m × 16 m, 1 lock of 24 m × 200 m - 10.10 m of decline
* Genk: 2 locks of 136 m × 16 m, 1 lock of 24 m × 200 m - 10.10 m of decline
* Ternaaien: 2 locks of 55 m × 7.5 m, 1 lock of 136 m × 16 m - 13.94 m of decline
These locks provide access to the Meuse. Here is a new, fourth lock, of 200 mx 25 m is already planned.
By Albert Kanne
All figures at the height of the locks to Ternaaien.
* 1987 - Tonnage: 13,100,000 tons - Number of ships: 33,346
* 1990 - Tonnage: 15,161,000 tons - Number of ships: 36,199
* 2000 - Tonnage: 22,497,000 tons - Number of ships: 38,976
* 2004 - Tonnage: 24,173,000 tons - Number of ships: 37,660
* 2005 - Tonnage: 22,151,000 tons - Number of ships: 34,117
Connect with other channels
The Albert is connected to a number of other, generally older and smaller channels which together form the network of canals Kempen. The three short Walloon channels with each channel to connect the Meuse, the locks of Ternaaien is the most important and largest. In 1961 a treaty between the Dutch and Belgian governments also signed to the Albert Canal to connect with Juliana.
* Canal Bocholt-Herentals: in Herentals
* Canal Dessel-Turnhout-Schoten: in Schoten
* Canal Dessel-Kwaadmechelen: to Kwaadmechelen
* Channel-Briegden Neerharen: to Briegden
* Nete Canal: to Viersel
* The Canal Lanaye: in Ternaaien
* Canal Haccourt-Vise: in Vise
* The Canal Monsin: Liège