Next year's Superhospital detour: St. Jacques bridge demolition
Published Wednesday, November 14, 2012 9:33AM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, November 14, 2012 5:02PM EST
MONTREAL--NDG residents have been complaining for years about the traffic detours and closed streets forced upon the area by the construction of the MUHC superhospital.
The St. Jacques St. exit on the 720 Westbound has frequently been closed for months, while Girouard Ave. below Sherbrooke St. was reversed, an on-ramp to the Decarie Expressway was closed, as have several streets.
Now it's about to get worse as Transport Quebec plans to demolish and reconstruct the St. Jacques Bridge over the Decarie Expressway.
"There is going to be some deviation around the streets in the area. We try to make it [as low] impact as possible," said Ministry spokesperson Alain-Marc Dube at Tuesday evening's "Good neighbours" meeting hosted by the MUHC superhospital.
The reconstruction of the overpass is slated to begin in the summer of 2013. It will mean that once again the St. Jacques exit will be closed, as will the St. Jacques entrance to Highway 720 east.
NDG resident Sharon Sweeney came to the meeting to hear about traffic plans, and she was not impressed.
"The amount of traffic from two years ago is tenfold," said Sweeney.
She said driving anywhere near the Glen Yards, even on the west side of Decarie, is already very difficult, and worries that closing the St. Jacques St. bridge will create even more gridlock.
Fernando Lepore lives in St. Raymond, the neighbourhood sandwiched between the escarpment which parallels Highway 20 and the train tracks south of De Maisonneuve Blvd.
He said many residents depend on Upper Lachine Rd. and feels the city's decision to close the eastern-most part of the road, which connects Girouard Ave. to Decarie Blvd. near Vendome metro, is a bad one.
"It's going to take more time to go to work and to come back, that's my concern," said Lepore.
He said it could even force some of his tenants to move.
Alain Trudeau from the City of Montreal said it was a regrettable decision, but unavoidable.
"If the pedestrian and cyclists are at risk, we have to come to conclusion that Upper Lachine has to close," said Trudeau.
Many people also asked about making sure there was access from the Vendome metro and train station to the superhospital.
The MUHC said that a second access point is necessary, but details are still being worked out.
The MUHC hospital project is set to be completed by 2014.
An artist's sketch of what the MUHC superhospital will look like.