Officials criticized at hearing into waterfront project
Published Wednesday, January 13, 2010 9:50AM EST
Some people living southwest of downtown accuse public officials of ignoring their concerns about the redevelopment of the Bonaventure expressway.
Some of them packed a public consultation meeting on Tuesday to blast Isabelle Hudon of the Societe du Havre, which oversees the waterfront area.
Resident Rolan Hakim accused Hudon of ignoring submissions made by residents in recent months.
"We have Mrs. Hudon who says she wants to make this project differently (than) what we say," Hakim told the meeting.
Hudon replied: "I understand that there's concerns. I'll listen to them. If there are very good ideas on the table, let's keep only the good ones, and let's go for it."
Group and individuals presented briefs Tuesday on the future of the expressway on the first of four nights of discussions on the redesign project. Public consultations began in the fall.
A three-phase plan aims to revitalize a dead zone around the waterfront and encourage pedestrian, leisure and commercial use.
Part of the Bonaventure would be demolished and rebuilt further to the north to make way for an eight-lane urban expressway with four lanes in each direction.
Local residents have voiced opposition to the plan, which initially included turning Dalhousie St. in Griffintown into a bus corridor to the south shore.
Some have argued that having 1,400 buses on the street every day will destroy their quality of life. They also say the extra traffic would be dangerous for pedestrians, not to mention the noise and pollution.
More than 700 people have made presentations at the hearings since November.
The first phase of the waterfront plan is scheduled to be finished by 2013 at an estimated cost of $141 million.