The Federal Wharf
A short history of the Federal Wharf
The Federal Wharf is located downstream from Lock No. 1 at the Chambly Canal National Historic Site. Immersed in the Chambly Basin, this pier is an integral part of the Chambly Canal’s infrastructure. The wharf was likely built when the second phase of canal construction began in 1841. At the time, only part of the current wharf was in place. The wharf was extended in 1875 and again in 1879.
The downstream pier has been closed and off limits to the public for more than a decade. Every two or three years, the water level of the Chambly Basin rises so high that it completely submerges the wharf, making it impossible to install the lay-to wharves for recreational boaters. The wharf's asphalt coating deteriorated substantially with repeated exposure to high waters and its condition prior to the rehabilitation prevented safe use of the structure on a permanent basis.
Rehabilitation of the Federal Wharf
The Federal Wharf (also known as the downstream pier or the Chambly Jetty) at the Chambly Canal National Historic Site is being rehabilitated primarily to ensure the safety of users and maintain the pleasure-boating activities associated with the canal.
The restoration work planned for the fall of 2018 and throughout 2019 includes the installation of a new apron and the construction of a curtain wall with steel sheet plating and a cope wall. This work will also facilitate the installation of lay-to wharves and various facilities before the start of the boating season.
The project to rehabilitate the Federal Wharf represents an investment of close to $10 million in the Chambly Canal infrastructure that is intended to improve the experience of the more than 200,000 people who use it every year. It will also give current and future generations an opportunity to enjoy this historic site for many years to come.
Work in progress and impacts
The work to rehabilitate the Federal Wharf began in the fall of 2018. The future pier will be raised minimally and steel sheet plating will be installed on the northern, eastern and western sides. In addition, a concrete cope wall will be built, the steel sheet plating will be filled with concrete on its facade, and a structural slab will be laid. The use of durable materials such as concrete will give the structure a minimum service life of 50 years. The pier will be close in size to the previous one.
It will then be possible to install the lay-to wharves before the boating season every year. Quality urban furniture is part of the design: luminaires with decorative aluminum details as well as LED lighting, benches with and without back supports, guardrails of galvanized steel pipes, waste and recycling bins, bike racks, planters and Adirondack chairs are among the elements that will provide added value for the project. A stamped inlaid commemorative logo for the Chambly Canal will be installed at the end of the pier.
Fences around equipment traffic and storage areas have been installed near Locks Nos. 1, 2 and 3 as well as in the Parc des Ateliers along Bourgogne Avenue in Chambly. For everyone’s safety, these areas will be off limits to the public until the work is completed in May 2020.