Snowmobile bridge officially opened $95,000 investment announced

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Construction on the railway bridge spanning the Ottawa River between Portage-du-Fort and Ontario was officially opened the weekend of February 4.

Allyson Beauregard



Construction on the railway bridge spanning the Ottawa River between Portage-du-Fort and Ontario was officially opened the weekend of February 4.

Allyson Beauregard

PORTAGE-DU-FORT – Pontiac MP Will Amos, on behalf of Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions CED, recently announced that $95,000 in financial assistance
has been granted to VHR Outaouais under the Quebec Economic Development Program (QEDP). The grant will help cover the costs of refurbishing the railway bridge linking Portage-du-Fort with Ontario.
VHR Outaouais is a regional association
representing seven of the Outaouais’ snowmobile clubs. According to
Alain Goulet, Pontiac Snowmobile Drivers’ Association (PSDA) president,  VHR is one of a kind in Quebec. “All of the clubs got together to create VHR, which manages large-scale, regional projects the clubs don’t have the means to accomplish on their own,” he told the Journal. VHR’s mandate is to facilitate trail development or transfer procedures for the clubs and to provide them with technical assistance and administrative support.
The PSDA currently holds the lease for the CN railway corridor linking Quebec’s snowmobile trail network to the bridge. Snowmobilers can purchase a trail pass from any snowmobile club, which gives them access to Quebec’s 33,000
kilometres of trails.
Although the refurbishing work was completed about three weeks ago, the official opening of the bridge was held the weekend of February 4. The Fédération des
clubs de motoneigistes du Québec (FCMQ) also contributed about $95,000 to the project.
“Organizations such as VHR Outaouais, in conjunction with the FCMQ, play a vital
role in developing our region’s tourism industry and economy. This announcement will create positive and direct benefits for the community and businesses, confirming this is a prime place to play and visit,” said Amos.
According to Goulet, it will take time for the bridge’s effects on snowmobile traffic to become apparent. “It’s going to take a year or two to feel the change. It won’t
happen overnight,” he concluded.