• James Armstrong

Emergency measures for Hudson’s Black Creek culvert


PHOTO BY JAMES ARMSTRONG

Exceptionally high water levels and a disintegrating culvert threaten public safety on Hudson’s Cameron Road.

*Update - excavation has begun five days ahead of the originally scheduled date. Cameron is currently closed today (April 13) between Mount Pleasant and Wellsley from 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.

It became apparent to Hudson Town officials on April 7 that a dire situation was developing with the culvert that carries Black Creek under Cameron Road into Pine Lake. Mayor Ed Prévost officially declared it an emergency situation so that swift measures could be taken to make short-term repairs.

Currently, the street is limited to one-lane traffic in the immediate area of the culvert and is controlled by temporary traffic signals. “We acted quickly because the safety of citizens was the issue,” said Director General Jean-Pierre Roy in an interview Tuesday, April 11. High levels of water in Black Creek due to recent heavy rainfall and melting snow threatened to wash out the culvert and part of the road. Upon inspecting the situation, town employees discovered that the culvert was in danger of collapsing.

Emergency situation

According to Roy, the action was taken by the town because the circumstances were very serious. “It’s a very exceptional situation and no (municipal) resolution is necessary,” he said. He said the Loi sur les Cités et Villes LRQ c. C-19 (Cities and Towns Act) permits the mayor, in an emergency situation, to order any expense considered necessary and grant contracts to remedy the situation. All of the usual rules and regulations that would normally apply for replacement of the culvert are waived in an emergency situation. Roy said that the Municipalité Régionale de Comté de Vaudreuil-Soulanges (MRC-VS) told Mayor Prévost to go ahead with the repairs. Once the emergency situation is handled, the Mayor is required to make a full report at the next town council meeting.

Temporarily, the plan is to insert a smaller culvert into the damaged one. The decision as to whether the insert will be concrete or metal has not yet been decided.

“We are hoping that we won’t have to close the street,” said Roy, “but if that happens, we will let the businesses in town know in advance because of deliveries.” Cameron Road is a main access route for the commercial sector of Hudson. “It’s an old culvert, it cannot handle the capacity of the water flow and it needs to be replaced,” Roy added.

Possible grant for repairs

Permanent repairs will follow but will have to adhere to the guidelines of the MRC-VS (responsible for all waterways in the region), the Ministère d’Affaires municipales et Occupation du territoire (MAMOT), the Ministère du Développement durable, Environnement et Lutte contre les changements climatiques, (MDDELCC) and the Ministère de Sécurité Publique (MSPQ). Roy said the town might receive funds from the MSPQ. “We may have the chance of receiving a grant from the Ministry’” he said, adding it would be approximately $58,000 to $60,000 to help cover the cost of repairs estimated at a total of $100,000.

When asked if the emergency situation with the culvert would have any effect on the progress of replacing the dam on Pine Lake, Roy replied that it would not. “That is no longer an emergency situation. We have to take the time to really do it properly.”

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