• John Jantak

Closed section of Soulanges canal reopened

The bike path along the Soulanges Canal between Chemin St-Emmanuel and Rue Principale in Coteau-du-Lac has reopened after work was carried out this week by the Municipalité Régionale de Comté (MRC) de Vaudreuil-Soulanges to replace a large broken water pipe that carries water from the canal to the Rivière Rouge.

“It was a big project,” said MRC Communications Director Simon Richard. “The pipe broke about two weeks ago and the land around it collapsed too so it was like there was a landslide in the area.”

PHOTO COURTESY MRC VAUDREUIL-SOULANGES Substantial repair work took place on the bike path between chemin St-Emmanuel and rue Principale in Coteau-du-Lac.

The pipe was installed sometime in the 1970s and nobody was sure who it belonged to, said Richard. “It happened that it belongs to the MRC so that’s why we took responsibility for it,” he said.

Work to fix the pipe began last week and the job was completed after a fresh layer of new asphalt was laid onto the affected portion of the bike path. Cyclists and other users were advised to take a detour onto Chemin du Fleuve while the reparation work was in progress.

Soulanges Canal rejuvenation

The MRC is still moving ahead with its plans to revitalize the entire stretch of the Soulanges Canal which runs 22 kilometres between Pointe-des-Cascades and Rivière-Beaudette into a major tourist attraction. In 2017, calls were made to the provincial Ministry of Transport to work with the MRC to help breathe new life into its rejuvenation proposal.

The MRC also noted at the time that the structure was deteriorating and was essential that some sort of action be taken to preserve the canal and utilize the 100 hectares of surrounding land to turn it into a viable tourist attraction.

Other cities studied

Several European cities that have canals were studied by the MRC at the time and found many of them have managed to successfully integrate them as part of their infrastructure and feels a similar approach can be taken to revitalize the Soulanges Canal.

While all other canals fall under federal domain, jurisdiction for the Soulanges Canal was transferred to the province in 1963. The MRC said at the time that the revitalization of the Lachine Canal by Parks Canada which was reopened to pleasure boating in 2002 is a perfect example of how a revitalized Soulanges Canal could bring substantial benefits to the region with help from the transport ministry.