An operation worthy of another era is underway on the Saint-Maurice river at the hydroelectric power plant of rapide-Blanc, on the territory of La Tuque, where workers have started to recover pitounes of four feet, lying at the bottom of the water.
The operation, which is part of the rehabilitation work of$ 613 Million of the old plant of Hydro-Québec, aims to get out of the water logs of wood forgotten, although the fishing on the river came to an end in the 90’s.
An assessment by echo sound has allowed to establish that it is located immediately upstream of the dam, the equivalent of about 500 dump trucks of logs of wood, if not more. These must be removed in order to install cofferdams during the construction and, subsequently, facilitate the flow of the river to the water intakes of the plant.
The pitounes will be stored until we find a way to recycle. It is intended that they should be valued in the contract for the rehabilitation of the plant.
“We have made attempts. We are still trying to find ways to enhance the value of this material-there. This is not obvious. There have been attempts at the time, in 2014. There are still some communications to that effect, with the forest,” said the head of the construction site of Hydro-Québec, Carl Morin.
This operation revives memories among the residents and natives of the village of rapide-Blanc. “My father, in the evening, after dinner, led us to make small excursions, and one of these excursions, it was to climb up to the dam and watch the workers push the logs”, recalled Paul Desbiens.
The recovery will be staggered over the six years of the works of rehabilitation of the plant.