Mont Dauphin. Stronghold: A makeover at the Rochambeau barracks

Everyone wonders about the Rochambeau barracks' scaffolding in Guillestrois.

Mont Dauphin. Stronghold: A makeover at the Rochambeau barracks

Everyone wonders about the Rochambeau barracks' scaffolding in Guillestrois. The EUR3.6 million works campaign is entirely funded by the Recovery Plan. It consists of two phases: March 2022 to November 2022 and then March 2023 to November 2023.

This first phase consists of the restoration and renovation of the buttress stairs, as well as the renovation and restoration of the roofing and framework. Jessica Garin, Eurotoiture CEO, says, "This operation involves removing the roof and reporting on the sanitary conditions of the wood. Then, we make the first reinforcements to the frame, then the roofing." This operation is complicated because of the weather conditions, which means we have to work in snowy season. A second constraint is that this operation is on an unusual frame by Philibert delorme. This requires special care in terms of restoration and study. The cover complex is an isolated, sealed complex that has climate-related obligations. Laying slates requires a specific approach and longer time. The slates are laid with increasing exposure and with nails. We are currently managing the 5,000 m2 of work in stages, to control the water outflow and prevent infiltration. We are currently replacing small keys on the Philibert delorme frame. This is about 10%. The secondary framework, the rafters is on the other side. This is due to the fact that roofing had suffered from infiltrations. The choice of materials is not up to chance.

French larch, slates from the Alpine arc come from the Vasserre Quarry in the Pyrenees... So there is no shortage of French materials," smiles Jessica Garin.

Different teams collaborate on the site to remove and seal the complex. There are also carpenters and slate workers. "The workers are skilled and experienced people who know how to perform this type of work. There are two types of training: roofers and carpenters. They either graduate from the companions' school, or are trained through working alongside the companions. An average time it takes to create an independent companion is 10 to 15 years. Jessica concludes, "We recruit, we train."

Helicopter transport, a technical task

"The helicopter transport was chosen in order to avoid a crane at the site and to ensure that the continuity of visits the stronghold", explains Isabelle Fouilloy-Jullien (administrator of Mont-Dauphin). Helicopteres de France provides weekly helicopter transport to remove and deliver materials. The material drop-off location in Guillestre is hosted by the SDIS. Dominique Heib (helicopter pilot) says, "It's rewarding to work for heritage, and to contribute to the restoration of such a type of building. It's all part of what makes our job so much fun.

Everything is millimeter in the heliport. Helicopter transport is technically complex. This is especially true when there are people working on the roof or on scaffolding. To preserve their human integrity, we have to work precisely which puts a lot of pressure on us. A 20-meter sling is used, along with a shock absorber at one end and a small rope at another. Or 25 meters above roof level. This gives us enough room to handle the complicated aerologies here and to not generate too much wind for workers.

Flight attendants play a crucial role in helicopter transport with slings. Maxence Lecorre, and Alexandre Cerro are my flight assistants. They keep me on the ground, make radio contacts, and provide security. We are located in an area that is densely used for aeronautics, with the Saint-Crepin Aerodrome nearby and many birds including eagles nesting on the cliff.

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