Quebec is losing ground: to move or repair the 132?

News 17 December, 2017
  • Photo Laboratory of dynamic and integrated management of coastal areas
    Route 132 was built on the edge of the water, which attracts thousands of tourists per year. But for the past 10 years, the work to protect it have multiplied.

    Stephanie Gendron

    Sunday, December 17, 2017 01:00

    Sunday, December 17, 2017 01:00

    Look at this article

    The erosion in Quebec has increased, and experts predict that living on the edge of the water will become more risky. In this period of spring tides, The Journal presents a story of three days on the greatest danger that threatens the local residents.

    Route 132 tour of the Gaspé peninsula, is one of the most beautiful in the province of Quebec, but also the most at risk. For the past 10 years, Quebec has had to make dozens of repairs and to build walls of protection for the preserve.

    For some specialists, it is inevitable that some sections of the 132 to be displaced, as was the case in the years 1980 to Maria, in the bay of Chaleur.

    Decisions also need to be taken to protect the road when the move is impossible.

    Far from the sea

    “At the time, when it was built on the edge of the river, it was thought to avoid areas of steep, and connect the coastal villages between them. Today, it has become a problem, ” says Jean-Pierre Savard, environment specialist, retired from Uranus.

    According to him, some sections may not be moved and will need to invest to protect it.

    “In other cases, we should build the road farther from the sea, and the current route 132 could become a secondary road at this location “, said Mr. Savard.


    In the meantime studies on the subject, the member of parliament for Gaspé, Gaétan Lelièvre is concerned about the safety of its citizens.

    In December 2016, several sections of route 132 had been damaged due to a storm and the road had been closed for about a hundred kilometers near the village of Marten.

    The member think that we could do differently in terms of emergency measures if a similar event occurs this year during the high tides of December.

    “There were people very worried. Older people who felt isolated, ” remembers Gaétan Lelièvre. It was of little that the road to the full to be broken. It was only the shoulder of the road so that emergency vehicles can pass.

    Expensive project

    “There are paths to defeat. What are old forest roads that deserve a little bit of work, which has not been done, and it makes me fear that we repeat the same story if there are still road closures. “

    It should move the route 132 would be very expensive.

    “When one intends to rebuild a national highway to blow 1 billion dollars, I think it is, it is the other extreme. There is a way to find solutions ” concludes the deputy.


    The 132 in the East-of-Quebec

    • Gaspésie: 100 kilometres of vulnerable sites
    • Bas-Saint-Laurent:at 30 kilometres from vulnerable sites

    Sites more sensitive

    • Sainte-Anne-des-Monts to Sainte-Madeleine-de-la-Rivière-Madeleine
    • Cap-Chat–Sainte-Luce Sainte-Flavie and Baie-des-Sables–Saint-Ulric

    For the past 10 years : work in 65 locations by the ministry of Transportation to protect it better (rip rap in the majority, repair walls or recharge of beach.)

    Source : Ministry of Transport of Quebec


    Quebec must adapt

    Photo Stephanie Gendron

    Pascal Bernatchez

    Various experts consulted by The Newspaper believe that it is too late to protect multiple banks.

    According to them, Quebec must rather adapt and change its way of developing its riparian areas.

    The team of Pascal Bernatchez, professor and holder of the canada research Chair in spatial science areas at the University of Quebec at Rimouski, has collected data on the erosion of the banks in eastern Quebec, on both sides of the river.

    Many municipalities, organisations and citizens now have projections of shoreline erosion for the next 50 years.


    The engineers will be the next to have access to valuable information on which to base adaptation measures.

    “For example, we have now data of wave, which is much more informative than wind data,” says Bernatchez.

    These information will allow to better plan the work to be done and knowing which ones to prioritize.