Belvedere Road: Phase 2 was delayed due to the epidemic

After two summers installed in temporary buildings, the reception center on the Route des Belvédères is now located on Route 132 in Matabédia.

The room, located in the same building as the pharmacy, opened on Saturday. It will serve as a gateway to the Belvédères Route and as a tourist information center for the Matapedia – Les Plateaux region.

The site will be the focal point for getting tourist information on Matabedia – Les Plateau region.

Image source: Franceska Desmarais

At the moment, only Matapedia and Saint-André-de-Restigouche belvederes, available to the public since 2019, make up the Belvedere Road.

The construction of the Saint-Alexis-de-Matapédia and Ascension-de-Patapédia buildings is still on hold, while it was expected to be completed in 2021.

A man walks towards the Belvedere Tower in San André de Restigós

Saint-André-de-Restigouche belvedere offers a stunning view of the surrounding agricultural landscape (the archives).

Photo: Radio Canada/Isabelle Larousse

Pandemic plans fail

According to Route des belvédères director and agent for economic and tourism development for the Matapédia-Les Plateaux region, Franceska Desmarais, the pandemic has changed plans.

The project really stopped in the wake of the pandemic, she explained. With rising material costs and changes in the economy, our projects are sure to have to be rebuilt almost from scratch. You should recalculate everything, re-evaluate and rethink projects for future monitoring.

In 2019, this second phase bill was estimated at $2.7 million, but the manager estimates that costs are now expected to increase by 30-40%. Franceska Desmarais emphasizes that it is still too early to accurately confirm the cost of the planned infrastructures, especially because its architectural design is not yet complete.

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We are not the only ones reviewing the numbers, but also our fundersMrs. Desmarais identifies.

The interior of the structure of Matapedia belvedere

The interior of the structure of the Matapedia belvedere (Archives).

Photo: Radio Canada/Isabelle Larousse

Although COVID-19 is slowing down project completion, the full investigation of the Route des Belvédères is not in question.

There is still a long way to go, but people remain motivated, confirms Francesca Desmaris.We completed the first stage, and now we take care of the second stage, confirms to the project manager.

Of course, we want to finish Belvedere Road in a maximum of three years.

Quote from:Franceska Desmarais, Director of the Route des Belvédères

The digital component will also improve the Route des Belvédères, which aims to encourage tourists to leave Route 132 to discover the Matapédia-Les Plateaux region.

The recovery began at the lumberjack camp

On the side of Saint-François-d’Assise, where the Belvedere will not be built, we are betting on the renovation of the lumberjack camp.

Already, the establishment, which provides accommodation and catering service, has a new website and a new brand image.

Three cabins have also already been renovated, but the construction of six new units has not yet begun.

We also want to renovate the restaurant, expand the camp site, and possibly develop a wilderness camping element in the mountains, Franceska Desmarais lists.

The site actually has 16 campsites with or without service.

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