• John Jantak

Drones will continue topographical mapping of Chaline Valley landslide zone in St. Lazare


Residents in St. Lazare’s Chaline Valley will likely see drones periodically flying overhead over the next two months as footage is gathered in preparation for land stabilization work.

Drones equipped with cameras will resume flying over St. Lazare’s Chaline Valley next week to continue inspections of the slopes along the Quinchien River as part of the work that is being done to prepare for the upcoming bank stabilization planned for next winter.

The flights will take place at 10-day intervals beginning the week of April 2 and continue until the end of May, weather permitting. The work will be done by Drone Box, a company mandated by the provincial Ministry of Transport to conduct the flights. A second phase of drone flights and mapping will take place in autumn.

Topographical mapping

The flights are a continuation of a program that the ministry began last spring to precisely map a 1.5 kilometre section of the Chaline Valley hillside and riverside to determine which areas could be more susceptible to a possible landslide and to make sure the necessary corrective procedures are implemented during the stabilization work phase.

The precise topographical mapping will also provide exact details of what modifications are required for each property.

“These are the times of the year when it’s more critical for landslides because this is when they usually occur. They’ll be monitoring the slopes and taking pictures to see if there’s been any movement or changes to the landscape and along the river,” Communications Director Geneviève Hamel told The Journal.

The drone flights will be conducted in a manner as to not disrupt or disturb human activity and wildlife. “Some residents may notice them. We want to reassure our citizens they will only be taking pictures of the landslide zone. There will be no images of people or homes that can be identified,” said Hamel.

New public info meeting

Another public information meeting is planned for Chaline Valley residents to inform them about the eventual stabilization work, when it will begin, and what it will entail. The meeting date will be determined after the municipality speaks to representatives from the provincial Ministries of Environment, Public Security, and Transport.

“We will have a conference call with all of the different ministries involved. When we get all the information, we will go to council members next Tuesday for a plan of action. We’ll have to talk to council about what the next steps are and how we’ll go about it, the time period and how to organize it,” said Hamel.

The town has been preparing for the upcoming stabilization work for at least the past year. “We have a team that’s working on some of the calls for tenders. It’s a huge process to get things planned and everything organized. Now we need to bring everybody up-to-date with what everyone has been doing,” said Hamel.

Complete up-to-date information regarding the stabilization work is available on the town’s website at www.ville.saint-lazare.qc.ca/en/zonesdecontraintes. Chaline Valley residents can also call a dedicated telephone line to ask specific questions related to the landslide zone at (514) 250-0964.