Residents voice concern on Turcot reconstruction
Jasmin Legatos, The GazettePublished: 1 hour ago
Noise, dust, the possibility of expropriation and increased traffic were the main concerns of residents gathered at a St. Henri recreational centre Tuesday night for the first of three public consultations on plans to rebuild the Turcot Interchange.
In June, the provincial Transport Department announced a $1.5-billion project to replace the elevated structure with a simplified highway system, most of which is to be built at ground level.
The plan also involves rebuilding the Angrignon Blvd., Montreal West and de la VÃ©rendrye Blvd. interchanges and turning the Turcot Yards into some kind of green space.
For residents near the crumbling Turcot Interchange, which rises 30 metres at some points, bringing the highway system down to earth means they will be even closer to the noise of the 280,000 cars that use the road network every day.
Environmental impact assessments are still under way, project director Denise Gosselin said, but according to the project's sound specialist, the goal is to cut the current noise level in half.
One St. Henri resident was concerned that the plan to extend Cote St. Paul Rd. to meet up with Monk Blvd. will only help increase traffic on nearby St. Ambroise St., which she said some motorists already treat like a highway.
Gosselin replied that the province is working with Montreal boroughs and suburbs to determine the way the construction would affect the Turcot's tributaries.
Gosselin did not rule out traffic lights on St. Ambroise and emphasized the ground-level highway system would allow safe crossings by pedestrians and bicyclists, who now pass under the Turcot Interchange.
Possible expropriation was also a hot-button issue last night. While Gosselin acknowledged some land would have to be acquired by the government in residential areas for the project, she said all efforts were being made to reduce the impact on residents, In most cases, she said, only small parcels of land - most probably from a back or front yard - will be needed to complete the project.
But as the plan is still under study, she could not elaborate