The Wind Tunnel Building in Mont Lachat expected to be demolished soon

The first meeting of the steering committee for the demolition of this offending sight ruin located at the Col du Mont Lachat, along theTMB railways (Tramway du Mont-Blanc) southbound to the Nid d’Aigle (Eagle’s Nest) was held in the Saint Gervais Town hall on January 7, 2014, under the chairmanship of its Mayor: Jean-Marc Peillex.
Participants to this important meeting included the sub-prefect; representatives of the public authorities (Haute-Savoie department, region, town of Saint-Gervais), environmental associations such as proMONT-BLANC, WWF and Mountain Wilderness represented by its Mont-Blanc area delegate: Eric Lasserre.
Mont Lachat recadréeThis aircraft engines testing facility existed since 1937, it ended its operations in 1969 and was sold to the city of Saint-Gervais in 1975. In its current state, the building is heavily damaged and do not present any architectural or historical potential. Mountain Wilderness and proMONT-BLANC had it already identified in their inventory of obsolete installations to dismantle since January 2000.
This very heavy project is expected to start soon for an estimated duration of three years. About 2,260 m3 of concrete and various materials must be treated, some of it, inert, will be buried on site to fill the excavation resulting from demolition. The remaining will be evacuated by train. The site should ultimately return to its original alpine lawn status.
The future of the project is subject to the approval of the Ministry of Environment, which has to deliver the permit to demolish, subsequent to the advice provided by the Sites District Committee that will meet on January 28th. There is little doubt that this decision will be a positive one, but a green light is essential. Funding is expected to come for more than 50% from the Haute-Savoie department and other sources such as the State, the region, the Compagnie du Mont-Blanc , the WWF NGO and possibly private funds.
A call to local volunteers will be made by Mountain Wilderness for a cleaning action in the “Mont Lachat” neighborhood to take care of all the barbed wires and other fencing residual. An operation of which we will provide regular updates. (EL, BM)

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