• John Jantak

St. Lazare officially inaugurates new Chaline Valley access road


St. Lazare District 3 Councillor Brigitte Asselin (centre with scissors) cuts the ribbon to officially inaugurate the opening of Rue de Carillon which will provide Chaline Valley residents with a long awaited second access road to enter and exit the community. Councillors Richard Nataf (second left), Serge David, Mayor Robert Grimaudo, Pamela Tremblay, Lise Jolicoeur and Denis Briard also participated in the inauguration.

More than 12 years after it was first proposed, Rue de Carillon, the long awaited second access road into and of out of Chaline Valley was decreed officially open by St. Lazare Mayor Robert Grimaudo and all six municipal councillors during an inauguration ceremony on Monday morning, November 24. For Brigitte Asselin in particular, who has represented her Chaline Valley constituents as District 3 councillor since 2002, the opening of the new road which connects to Chemin Ste. Angélique marks the end of a long struggle to realize and complete the project.

“I’ve been councillor of the district for more than 10 years now and this project was completed with the extraordinary cooperation of all our current council members,” said Asselin. “It’s the realization of a 12-year dream thanks to everyone’s hard work.” Without going into detail, Mayor Robert Grimaudo said the road wasn’t built earlier because of political reasons during former mayoral administrations, until the current council decided it was time to finally proceed with the project.

“Madame Asselin has been pushing this file with an extreme amount of energy for a very long time,” said Grimaudo. “Previous councils were not getting it done. We have an excellent council. Everyone works as a team and we decided it was time to get this done. “It’s a file that should have been dealt with in 2006, but it wasn’t.

One of the first things we put on the table last November after the election was this road. We started with the expropriation of the land, how it could be done, and whether it would be done internally or given to a sub-contractor,” added Grimaudo. The entire project was conceived and completed by the town’s urban planning and municipal works departments for a total cost of about $325,000, which would have been at least double if the town tendered the job to a private subcontractor.

“We have excellent blue collar workers in this town. I mean they’re able to build roads. We’re a small town that’s able to build our own roads. That’s impressive,” said Grimaudo. The opening of Rue de Carillon means that Chaline Valley residents no longer have to rely solely on using Chemin St. Louis, which until Monday, was the only road leading into and out of the community.

The town has been concerned for many years about the possibility of a train derailment blocking Chemin St. Louis which would make it difficult to evacuate the area in case of an emergency. Even though there’s an alternate small private road available for emergency situations, the town cited safety concerns as the primary reason for building the new road which has delighted almost all residents.

Asselin said she was aware of only one resident in the immediate area who opposed the extension because of concerns regarding more traffic circulation outside their home. “You always hear from people who aren’t happy,” said Grimaudo. “There are always people who don’t want roads built. This project was borne for security reasons and it was an absolute necessity and most of the residents are generally happy.”

Grimaudo added that the new road means residents no longer have to feel isolated from the rest of the town. “The term someone told me recently is that residents have been feeling ‘like prisoners in our own community’. Well, they are no longer imprisoned in their community – they now have another road to enter and exit.”