5.2 Access and Visitor Reception
The presentation concept suggests the need to consolidate access at two main points of entrance. With access to the site constituting an ongoing problem, it is clearly important to provide a second entrance from the west bank of the Richelieu that would complement the east bank entrance on the Saint-Ours side.
The east bank
On the Saint-Ours side, the layout of the existing entrance will be maintained, since it would be quite unrealistic, technically and financially speaking, to create a separate entrance and exit. The parking lot parallel to the entrance will be retained but the portion that occupies the site of the old lock will be eliminated. The existing overflow parking will be upgraded to a main parking lot but will be laid out differently. In peak periods, visitors will be able to continue parking on the grass at the south end of the site.
The west bank
Plans for the west bank include a reception centre and a permanent parking lot that will improve visitor reception and more clearly express an invitation to tour the historic site. This reception centre will consist of a multi-purpose kiosk for reception and information; control of access to the dam and the fish ladder; and the collection of fees for activities or services. The building will also have public toilets. The kiosk will be designed so as to fulfil all these functions while limiting total sheltered area.
The parking lot should be large enough for about 30 vehicles.