Today's Gazette ,has a story about the possibilty of a major traffic nightmare ,should the building of the Turcot & Bonaventure Expressways,overlaps........ I wouldn't want to be in that rush hour ,if it happens............................
It will cost $141 million and, if everything goes according to plan, be finished by 2013.
But if the city of Montreal is tearing down the elevated Bonaventure Expressway at the same time Quebec is demolishing the Turcot interchange, Montreal Mayor Gérald Tremblay says it's the price to pay for progress.
"Yes, there's going to be inconveniences," Tremblay said as he and Société du Havre chairperson Isabelle Hudon announced the first phase of a plan to revitalize the crumbling expressway and the neighbourhoods around it.
"But the price to pay for the status quo, the price to pay for gridlock, the price to pay for greenhouse gas emission ... for quality of life ... for leaving infrastructures that are not technologically viable (is too high).
"We can use these projects to show that public transportation is our priority. ... In the short term certain people are going to be effected. But in the medium and the long term, we're talking about the future of Montreal and we decided to move forward with these projects."
Two days ago, Tremblay told a public hearing on the $1.5-billion Turcot plan that major highway projects cannot be planned on a piecemeal basis and their effects on the entire Montreal region must be taken into account.
While the Turcot project has yet to be finalized, its crumbling state has made its demolition a priority. Should it occur within the same time frame as the Bonaventure project, traffic on the Turcot - a major east-west thoroughfare into Montreal that is used by 280,000 vehicles a day - would be reduced at the same time as on the Bonaventure, which is used by 31,000 commuters daily to get to downtown Montreal from the South Shore.
Tremblay said he had "definitely" considered the possibility that both thoroughfares might be affected at the same time, but felt the advantages outweighed the inconveniences and noted the city was co-ordinating its work with Transport Quebec, which is overseeing the Turcot project.
Originally pegged at a cost of $90 million in 2007, Hudon said the Bonaventure project's price tag increased to $141 million because of inflation and "additions" to the construction, including an 83-metre extension of the slope that would force Montreal-bound traffic to slow down as it reached the city's downtown.
Once the elevated section of the expressway is removed, traffic will be routed along Duke and Nazareth Sts., each of which will be broadened to handle four lanes of traffic. A stretch of Dalhousie St. to the west of Nazareth will be reserved for buses travelling to and from the South Shore.
Once the first phase is complete, something Tremblay estimated could be done by 2013, Phase 2 will involve turning the stretch of shore between the Victoria and Champlain bridges into green space, while the final phase will see the Peel Basin linked to the riverfront.
The first phase of the project would, theoretically, be accompanied by residential and commercial development in the area, which could generate more than $1 billion in investments.
However before any of it that can occur, public consultations will have be held on the project, something Tremblay said won't occur until this autumn.