New Champlain Bridge - Vaudreuil Rapids project

Table of Contents

Project background

Large-scale construction projects inevitably impact the environment. Many compensation projects were analyzed by Infrastructure Canada in collaboration with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada, and Public Services and Procurement Canada, to offset the loss of natural environment caused by the construction of the new Champlain Bridge.

The Vaudreuil Rapids project will create new fish habitat in both fast flowing and calm waters to compensate for the loss of these types of habitats as a result of the construction of the new Champlain Bridge. The project will be carried out in the Ottawa River's Vaudreuil Rapids, between the Taschereau Bridge and Île aux Pins, in the municipalities of Vaudreuil-Dorion and Pincourt.

Project Description, Timeline and Characteristics

Description

The project will involve creating spawning grounds specifically designed for yellow walleye, lake sturgeon and smallmouth bass over an area of approximately 10 hectares. A number of other fish species may also use the newly created structures.

The spawning ground locations were selected to target areas with the greatest potential for new fish habitats. Consequently, these structures will be built in areas that meet the required criteria of current speed and water depth for fish spawning.

Image 1: Vaudreuil Rapids Project - Proposed spawning area

Legend of the Vaudreuil Rapids project

Text description of graph

Characteristics

Approximately 70,000 m3 of stones will be deposited in very specific locations in the river to create an environment conducive to fish spawning and feeding. The stones will be transported by barge from Sabourin Park, and an excavator will then be used to place the stones on the riverbed.

Timeline

To comply with the mandatory restriction of work in water for the protection of fish and fish habitat, the work will be carried out over two years (2017–2018), during a five-month period from July to December of each year.

Winter 2017

  • Call for tenders and contract award

Spring 2017

  • Survey of shoreline to establish a baseline for determining whether the work has caused erosion
  • Public information session to inform residents about the project
  • Worksite mobilization:
    • Preparation of worksite and stone storage areas
    • Installation of floating docks
    • Installation of turbidity curtains (for sediment containment)

Summer–Fall 2017 and 2018

  • Completion of in-water works in white water areas (July to December 2017 and 2018)
  • Completion of in-water works in calm water areas (September to December 2017 and 2018)

Fall 2018

  • Removal of floating docks, turbidity curtains and other temporary facilities related to the work

Spring 2019

  • Restoration of Sabourin Park according to standards

Project's environmental benefits

This important project will contribute to the improvement of fish stocks in the St. Lawrence River by creating new fish spawning grounds in fast and slow flowing water. In addition, the project will increase available feeding and rearing habitat for fish near the spawning grounds, improving the area for the entire life cycle of the fish. A secondary benefit of the project will be to increase biodiversity in the area by attracting birdlife which feeds on fish.

Image 2: Fish species whose habitat will be created by the project
Legend of the Vaudreuil Rapids project Legend of the Vaudreuil Rapids project Legend of the Vaudreuil Rapids project
The Smallmouth Bass Lake Sturgeon Walleye
Credit: ACART Communications Inc.
Source: Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Mitigation measures during the project

The establishment of fish spawning grounds in the Vaudreuil Rapids could cause inconvenience to people living near Sabourin Park. That is why Infrastructure Canada has developed approximately 60 mitigation measures, aiming among other things to reduce citizens' life quality impacts, that will have to be implemented by the contractor.

Noise management

  • Compliance with municipal and provincial noise abatement regulations
  • Use wherever possible of quieter equipment and assurance that equipment has good-quality mufflers in proper working order
  • Placement of noise-producing equipment far from residences when possible;
  • Use of variable-intensity vehicle back-up alarms
  • Prevention of impact noise caused by the rear tailgates of dump trucks
  • Minimization of idling of gasoline-powered vehicles and equipment
  • Implementation of a communication procedure to keep local residents informed of noise management on the worksite and allow them to make complaints or provide comments

Air quality management

  • Compliance with provincial thresholds for airborne particles
  • Dry materials will be sprayed with water, and waste will be covered over to prevent the wind from raising dust or blowing debris
  • Leak-proof or standard dump trucks will be used, based on requirements, and covered with tarpaulins to limit the dispersal of fine particulate matter into the air
  • Streets used by trucks will be cleaned when necessary

Traffic management

  • A Traffic Management Plan will be put in place to minimize traffic obstructions during peak hours and take into account traffic from adjacent construction sites during the work period
  • All transportation of bulk material from west of the Taschereau Bridge will be prohibited during the morning rush hour (6:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m., Monday to Friday).
  • No traffic lights will be permitted for a left turn at the exit of Sabourin Park.
  • A flagperson will be present at the site entrance at all times
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