Chaudière River

The Chaudière River (French for "Cauldron" or "Boiler"; Abenaki Kikonteku) is a 185-kilometre-long (115 mi) river with its source near the Town of Lac-Mégantic, in southeast Quebec, Canada. From its source Lake Mégantic in the Estrie region, it runs northwards to flow into the St. Lawrence River opposite Quebec City.

Chaudière
Chutes chaudieres.jpg
Chutes-de-la-Chaudière
Chaudiererivermap.png
Chaudiere River basin
Location
CountryCanada
ProvinceQuebec
Physical characteristics
SourceLake Mégantic
 • locationLac-Mégantic, Estrie
 • coordinates45°34′20″N 70°53′00″W / 45.57222°N 70.88333°W / 45.57222; -70.88333
MouthSaint Lawrence River
 • location
Lévis, Chaudière-Appalaches
 • coordinates
46°44′34″N 71°16′43″W / 46.74278°N 71.27861°W / 46.74278; -71.27861Coordinates: 46°44′34″N 71°16′43″W / 46.74278°N 71.27861°W / 46.74278; -71.27861
Length185 km (115 mi)
Basin size6,682 km2 (2,580 sq mi)
Discharge 
 • average114 m3/s (4,000 cu ft/s)
 • minimum11 m3/s (390 cu ft/s)
 • maximum470 m3/s (17,000 cu ft/s)

GeographyEdit

The river's drainage area is 6,682 square kilometres (2,580 sq mi), initially in the Appalachian Mountains, then in the low-lands of the St. Lawrence, and include 236 lakes covering 62 square kilometres (24 sq mi) and approximately 180,000 inhabitants. Its annual medium flow at the station of Saint-Lambert-de-Lauzon is 114 cubic metres per second (4,000 cu ft/s), varying from 11 cubic metres per second (390 cu ft/s) (low water) to 470 cubic metres per second (17,000 cu ft/s) (spring high water), with historical maximum of 1,760 cubic metres per second (62,000 cu ft/s).

Its principal tributaries are:

The river's basin has nearly 50 percent of the faunal richness of Quebec, namely 330 out of 653 vertebrate species known in the province can be found here.

The river, and the 40-metre-high (130 ft) Chaudière Falls which it passes over en route, are popular outdoor recreation areas.

Municipalities crossedEdit

Its course crosses the regional county municipalities (MRC) of:

Left bank of the Chaudière river (from the confluence):

Right bank of the Chaudière river (from the confluence):

HistoryEdit

The Abenaki indigenous people resided close to the Chaudière Falls and named it "Kikonteku", meaning "River of the Fields". On the charts of Samuel de Champlain, it was given the name "Etchemin River" (a name now used for another river whose drainage area borders with that of the Chaudière River). It was called "Rivière du Sault de la Chaudière" for a period of time before it became simply "Rivière Chaudière" towards the end of the 18th century. This name refers to the waterfall close to its mouth.

Its location was strategic for French colonization during the 18th century because the river was a natural link between New France and the British colonies to the south. It was also used by Benedict Arnold at the time of his 1775 expedition in the invasion of Quebec.

In 1823, gold was found along its shores in the Eastern Townships of Quebec.[1]

On 6 July 2013 the Lac-Mégantic derailment caused a major oil spill which contaminated the river at its source at Lac Mégantic.[2] Downstream communities such as Saint-Georges (80 kilometres (50 mi) to the northeast) were forced to obtain potable water from alternate sources and residents asked to limit their water consumption.[3] Floating barriers were installed in an attempt to contain the contamination.

21st centuryEdit

The Chaudière valley mostly crosses the Beauce area. The river impacts its industries and way of life, particularly during spring run-off, when it frequently overflows into populated areas, in spite of the 160 dams and levees. The river flows through several cities and villages of the area such as Sainte-Marie, Saint-Georges, Beauceville, and Saint-Joseph-de-Beauce.

The river is a popular location for outdoor sports, particularly at Lac-Mégantic and at Parc des Chutes-de-la-Chaudière. Located close to the mouth of the river at Lévis, this park offers cycling and hiking trails, as well as a footbridge suspended above the river which offers a view of the waterfalls.

The falls have been harnessed for hydro-electric power since the beginning of the 20th century. The dam was rebuilt in 1999 on the remains of the old installations, and now consists of a small 24 MW power station.

DescriptionEdit

The Chaudière Valley largely crosses the Quebec region of Beauce. It has shaped its industries and its way of life, particularly in spring when its overflows during snowmelt in inhabited areas are frequent, despite its course regulated by 160 dams and retaining dikes. The river runs through several towns and villages in the region, including Saint-Ludger, Saint-Gédéon-de-Beauce, Saint-Martin, Saint-Georges-de-Beauce, Notre-Dame-des-Pins, Beauceville, Saint-Joseph-de-Beauce, Vallée-Jonction and Sainte-Marie, Quebec.

The river is a prime site for outdoor activities, particularly near lac Mégantic and Chutes-de-la-Chaudière park. Located near the mouth of the river, in Lévis, this park offers hiking and cycling trails as well as a footbridge suspended over the river, which offers a viewpoint on the fall, 35 metres (115 ft) high. The fall, harnessed from the beginning of XXth for its hydroelectric potential, now has a dam rebuilt in 1999 on the remains of the old installations, which supplies a small hydroelectric plant of 24 megawatts (32,000 hp).

GalleryEdit

List of bridgesEdit

Sleepers Photo Municipality (ies) Year of construction Road Length Bridge type
Bridge 16179 Lake Mégantic Frontenac Street Steel girder bridge
Railway bridge   Lake Mégantic Central Maine and Quebec Railway Steel girder bridge
Bridge 18952 Lake Mégantic Papineau Street Precast prestressed concrete girder bridge
Bridge Lake Mégantic Québec Central Trail
Bridge 10965 Lake Mégantic 2005 [4]   Route 161 110.6 metres (363 ft)[4] Steel girder bridge[4]
Bridge 13899 Lac-Drolet and Audet 1969 [5] Main path 68.4 metres (224 ft)[5] Precast prestressed concrete girder bridge[5]
Soucy Bridge Saint-Ludger 1958 [6] Pont Street 61.5 metres (202 ft)[6] Reinforced concrete girder bridge[6]
Bridge Saint-Martin 2009 Multifunctional trail Suspended walkway
Bridge 13967   Saint-Martin 1970 [7]   Route 269 132.1 metres (433 ft)[7] Steel girder bridge[7]
Sartigan dam   Saint-Georges 1967 Barrage-Sartigan road Concrete-gravity dam
David-Roy Bridge   Saint-Georges 1970 [8]   Route 271 184.9 metres (607 ft)[8] Steel girder bridge[8]
Passerelle de la Seigneurie   Saint-Georges Cycle path of the Domaine de la Seigneurie Steel girder walkway
Manac footbridge Saint-Georges Cycle path of the Domaine de la Seigneurie Steel girder walkway
Canam-Boa Franc Gateway Saint-Georges Cycle path of the Domaine de la Seigneurie Steel girder walkway
Bridge 13921 Notre-Dame-des-Pins 1969 [9] 30th Street 279.6 metres (917 ft)[9] Precast prestressed concrete girder bridge[9]
Pont Perrault   Notre-Dame-des-Pins 1929 Cycle lane 150.9 metres (495 ft) Covered bridge
Desjardins Gateway   Beauceville 2008 Cycle lane 70 metres (230 ft) Steel lifting gangway
Pont Fortin   Beauceville 1980 [10]   Route 108 230.9 metres (758 ft)[10] Steel box girder bridge[10]
Bridge 00793 Saint-Joseph-de-Beauce and Saint-Joseph-des-Érables 1908 [11]   Route 276 138.6 metres (455 ft)[11] Lower steel deck bridge[11]
Bridge 18298 Vallée-Jonction Quebec Central Railway Steel lower deck bridge
Bridge 00814 Vallée-Jonction 1938 [12]   Route 112 151.8 metres (498 ft)[12] Lower steel deck bridge[12]
Bridge 10861 Sainte-Marie 2003 [13]   Route 216 164.4 metres (539 ft)[13] Steel girder bridge[13]
Family Bridge-Beshro Sainte-Marie 2015 [14] Multifunctional trail 207 metres (679 ft)[14] Cable-stayed gangway
Scott's Bridge Scott 1995 [15]   Route 171 210.1 metres (689 ft)[15] Steel girder bridge[15]
Bridge 03994 Saint-Lambert-de-Lauzon 1960 [16]   Route 218 229.0 metres (751.3 ft)[16] Steel girder bridge[16]
Bridge 14760 Lévis 1976 [17]   Autoroute 73 261.2 metres (857 ft) [17] Precast prestressed concrete girder bridge[17]
Bridge 14761 Lévis 1975 [18]   Autoroute 73 166.6 metres (547 ft)[18] Precast prestressed concrete girder bridge[18]
Railway bridge Lévis Canadian National Steel girder bridge
Chutes-de-la-Chaudière footbridge   Lévis Cycle lane 113 metres (371 ft) Suspension bridge
Bridge 04011S Lévis 1965 [19]   Autoroute 20 164.1 metres (538 ft)[19] Bridge with upper deck in reinforced concrete[19]
Bridge 04011N Lévis 1967 [20]   Autoroute 20 164.7 metres (540 ft) [20] Bridge with upper deck in reinforced concrete[20]
Bridge 13887   Lévis 1960 [21]   Autoroute 73 309.4 metres (1,015 ft) [21] Steel girder bridge [21]
Railway bridge Lévis Canadian National Steel girder bridge
Bridge 16928 Lévis 2010 [22]     Route 132 and 175 251.0 metres (823.5 ft)[22] Steel crutch bridge[22]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Law-West, Don. "Gold", in The Canadian Encyclopedia (Edmonton: Hurtig Publishing, 1988), Volume 2, p.908.
  2. ^ "1 dead after Quebec train blasts". CBC. July 6, 2013. Retrieved July 6, 2013.
  3. ^ "Leaking oil from Lac-Mégantic disaster affects nearby towns". CBC. July 7, 2013. Retrieved July 7, 2013.
  4. ^ a b c "Transport infrastructures - Structure details". www.diffusion.transports.gouv.qc.ca (in French). Retrieved 2017-12-30.
  5. ^ a b c "Transport infrastructures - Structure details". www.diffusion.transports.gouv.qc.ca (in French). Retrieved 2017-12-30.
  6. ^ a b c "Transport infrastructures - Structure details". www.diffusion.transports.gouv.qc.ca (in French). Retrieved 2017-12-30.
  7. ^ a b c "Transport infrastructures - Structure details". www.diffusion.transports.gouv.qc.ca (in French). Retrieved 2017-12-30.
  8. ^ a b c "Transport infrastructures - Structure details". www.diffusion.transports.gouv.qc.ca (in French). Retrieved 2017-12-30.
  9. ^ a b c "Transport infrastructures - Structure details". www.diffusion.transports.gouv.qc.ca (in French). Retrieved 2017-12-30.
  10. ^ a b c "Transport infrastructures - Structure details". www.diffusion.transports.gouv.qc.ca (in French). Retrieved 2017-12-30.
  11. ^ a b c "Transport infrastructures - Structure details". www.diffusion.transports.gouv.qc.ca (in French). Retrieved 2017-12-30.
  12. ^ a b c "Transport infrastructures - Structure details". www.diffusion.transports.gouv.qc.ca (in French). Retrieved 2017-12-30.
  13. ^ a b c "Transport infrastructures - Structure details". www.diffusion.transports.gouv.qc.ca (in French). Retrieved 2017-12-30.
  14. ^ a b "Inauguration of the Beshro Family Bridge - City of Sainte-Marie". City of Sainte-Marie (in French). 2015-10-08. Retrieved 2017-12-30.
  15. ^ a b c "Transport infrastructures - Structure details". www.diffusion.transports.gouv.qc.ca (in French). Retrieved 2017-12-30.
  16. ^ a b c "Transport infrastructures - Structure details". www.diffusion.transports.gouv.qc.ca (in French). Retrieved 2017-12-30.
  17. ^ a b c "Transport infrastructures - Structure details". www.diffusion.transports.gouv.qc.ca (in French). Retrieved 2017-12-30.
  18. ^ a b c "Transport infrastructures - Structure details". www.diffusion.transports.gouv.qc.ca (in French). Retrieved 2017-12-30.
  19. ^ a b c "Transport infrastructures - Structure details". www.diffusion.transports.gouv.qc.ca (in French). Retrieved 2017-12-30.
  20. ^ a b c "Transport infrastructures - Structure details". www.diffusion.transports.gouv.qc.ca (in French). Retrieved 2017-12-30.
  21. ^ a b c "Transport infrastructures - Structure details". www.diffusion.transports.gouv.qc.ca (in French). Retrieved 2017-12-30.
  22. ^ a b c "Transport infrastructures-Structure details". www.diffusion.transports.gouv.qc.ca (in French). Retrieved 2017-12-30.

External linksEdit