Chambly Canal National Historic Site
Upcoming work on the Fryer Dam
The Fryer Dam from yesterday...
The Fryer Island Dam is built on 30 concrete piers. © Parks Canada
The “Fryer Island Dam” has marked the landscape of Carignan and of Richelieu since its construction in 1938. This imposing 347-metre long structure, which spans the Richelieu River from east to west, was designed as part of an ambitious project to make the Richelieu River the main waterway linking the United States and Canada. A number of factors would put an end to the project, including the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 and the decision a few years later to canalize the St. Lawrence River. The Fryer Dam could never fulfill its function.
3D photographic modelling obtained using images captured by a drone.© Parks Canada
Today, the Fryer Dam remains a witness to the evolution of navigation and the engineering of canals in the first half of the 20th century. It is now under the responsibility of Parks Canada, which has carried out, in the summer of 2016, inspections on all the components of the dam. A drone was used to capture aerial images to create a 3D photographic modelling of the existing structure. By revealing its changes in shape, colour and texture, the 3D photographic modelling allows a precise analysis of the condition of the dam. Divers also conducted a visual inspection of the submerged parts of the piers and abutments of the dam and their aquatic environment. With the flow of water being elevated in this area, a boat equipped with 3D sonar that conducted underwater surveys was deployed to complete the work of the divers.
The work coming this fall
The dam’s concrete apron shows significant signs of deterioration. © Parks Canada
Work will be conducted this fall on the dam’s concrete apron, which shows significant signs of deterioration. Parks Canada will proceed with the demolition of the apron to ensure the safety of the public and protection of the environment. The work should extend until the spring of 2017. No closing of the Chambly Canal’s path is planned during this period, but minor restrictions may be necessary. Details about these restrictions will be communicated shortly.
Work on Weirs nos. 4 and 5, Chambly Canal National Historic Site
Weir n° 4 at the Chambly Canal
© Parks Canada
Chambly (Quebec), October 11, 2016 – Work will be carried out at the Chambly Canal National Historic Site on Weir No. 4, located between Bridge No. 7 and Fryer Island in Carignan, and Weir No. 5, located near Bridge No. 10 in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu.
The work will begin in mid-October 2016 and should be completed by the end of December 2016. It will include repairs to the concrete and replacement of mechanisms and gates. About ten street lamps will also be added near Weir No. 4 to secure the access for its operation.
These weirs are a unique glimpse into the history of the Chambly Canal and are also remarkable examples of the technology used in historic canals. The mechanisms being replaced, which maintain a heritage quality, will be put on display by Parks Canada and information panels will allow the public to learn more about these structures and the treasured cultural heritage of the Chambly Canal.
There are no plans for closing the path to pedestrians or cyclists, as the work will have only minor and periodic impacts. Work zones will be clearly identified and secured. Parks Canada asks the public to exercise patience and caution, in addition to respecting the temporary signage.