Landslide stabilization work begins in Notre-Dame-de-l’Île-Perrot
PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK
An excavator removes a large chunk of ice on the Ottawa River to allow truckloads of rocks to be dumped along the shoreline near 150th Avenue as part of hillside stabilization work in Notre-Dame-de-l’Île Perrot on February 27.
Work to stabilize the shoreline and surrounding hillsides to prevent a possible landslide began last week along the Ottawa River near Rue Simone-De Beauvoir and 150th Avenue in Notre-Dame-de-l’Île-Perrot (NDIP).
The project will be done in two phases, said Mayor Danie Deschênes. The first phase will continue until around the middle of March before it is halted for the annual spawning season of the many species of fish where the Ottawa River intersects with the St. Lawrence River.
“We hope to finish this part of the project, technically by March 15, depending on the weather. When the fish begin spawning, we won’t be able to do any work in the water at all,” Deschênes told The Journal.
The second phase will begin later this summer. “We don’t have a specific date on when this will happen. We’re waiting for the provincial government to give us the go-ahead,” said Deschênes.
Five zones have been identified for stabilization – three near Rue Simone-De Beauvoir and two close to 150th Avenue. The work has been earmarked to prevent a possible landslide in the future although the risk was considered minimal.
“We’re very happy that we finally began the work,” said Deschênes. “There was some erosion in that sector last year and we didn’t want to wait another year. The sooner it’s done the better. It’s a very complex project. We’re a small city and it was demanding for us to get it to where it is today.”
The work involves hauling in truckloads of large stones and boulders that will be placed at the river’s edge to prevent shoreline erosion. A total of 58,700 tonnes will be placed at the three worksites near Rue Simone-De Beauvoir and 21,500 tonnes at both worksites near 150th Avenue.
Willow stems will also be planted near the shoreline and specific shrubs along the hillsides to help prevent future erosion. A two-year follow-up period, between 2019 and 2020, has been proposed to make sure the new plants are firmly rooted.
The cost of the stabilization work is pegged at $5 million. The original estimate was $3.4 million. The increase is blamed on a higher than anticipated cost when the provincial Ministry of Transport went to public tender and the environmental demands related to the project.
A provincial subsidy of $3,709,455 was awarded to the city to offset the total cost. The city will pay $192,358 for its part of the stabilization work and the remaining $1,098,187 will be allocated as a sectorial tax for residents living on certain streets within the work zone.
The amount homeowners will have to pay through increased annual sectorial taxes will vary according to the eight affected streets. For example, property owners on 144th Street will pay an average annual cost of $6 and an average total cost of $99. Property owners on Rue Simone-De Beauvoir will pay an average annual cost of $1,066 and an average total cost of $16,917.
“There’s a financial impact involved for the residents and the town. It’s not something we were able to negotiate,” said Deschênes.
The resolution of the landslide issue means landowners, particularly in Les Palissades de l’Anse au Sable luxury home area, will be able to finally develop their vacant lots. “I think everybody is happy we’re going ahead with the stabilization work because we can’t build in that area until the work is done,” said Deschênes.
“There were some proposals for some houses a couple of years ago that couldn’t proceed because a moratorium was placed by the provincial government about two years ago that prohibited construction until the land was stabilized. Some people are waiting for the work to be done and over with to build their homes on the land that they bought,” Deschênes added.
Gilbert Rashi, a promoter at Les Palissades de l’Anse au Sable said he’s confident he will be able to begin construction work on his remaining lots when the stabilization work is completed. “I’m relieved,” he told The Journal during a telephone interview.
“Part of the purpose of this whole exercise is to stabilize the properties, the waterfront, and be able to safely construct there with no worries towards any kind of landslide, not that we had any major worries before,” said Rashi.
He credited the city for all their work to find a solution to the problem. “They’re doing what they have to do. They put their money where their mouths are. Let them do their work and hopefully we can continue to develop. Those who bought, I’m sure they’ll be able to continue building,” said Rashi.
Complete details of the stabilization work is available on the city’s website at https://tinyurl.com/y7zlza3a.