Only in Quebec: Four-year project six years behind schedule
Published Thursday, August 8, 2013 2:56PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, August 8, 2013 6:30PM EDT
If the Dorval Interchange construction project had stuck to its original schedule, it would now be complete at a cost of $150 million.
But four years after shovels went into the ground not only is the overhaul of the gateway to Montreal nowhere near complete, but the agency overseeing the project estimates it will take another six years to be finished, and the total cost will easily triple if not quadruple the original estimate.
The plan to make getting from Highway 20 to Trudeau Airport and back simple and elegant was first proposed in 2005, with actual construction beginning in 2009.
But for locals the project has become the source of derision at best and some have even found another use for it.
“The bridge to nowhere, we call it, it's used by local kids as an skateboard ramp,” said nearby resident Anne Burley.
Another motorist interviewed by CTV Montreal said that the frequently-changing configuration is confusing. "I'm not going because I will probably get lost," she said.
But in a classic case of too many cooks spoiling the broth, four years later work has ground to a halt because the land involved in owned and overseen by half a dozen goverments and agencies: Transport Quebec, Transport Canada, the city of Dorval, the city of Montreal, the STM, the AMT, CN rail, CP rail and Aeroports de Montreal--not to mention one parcel of land owned by a hotel.
Transport Quebec, which is leading the project, said the constant negotiation with other stakeholders is the main cause of delays.
The next stage of the project involves the construction of two pillars to support access roads from the airport to Highway 20 and thereby bypass Dorval Circle but no agreement is in place between Transport Quebec and CN.
“The negotiations are not completed yet so that's why we cannot go on with the railroad part,” said Sarah Bensadoun of Transport Quebec;
The original plan
The refurbishment of the Dorval Circle Interchange called for the construction of eight overpasses to link the airport to Highway 20 and Cote de Liesse (Hwy 520), plus links between the two highways.
Dorval Avenue was to be extended to the north with sidewalks and bicycle paths.
The Dorval bus and train terminals were to be moved and enlarged for better access to public transportation.
Aeroports de Montreal has also pushed for a dedicated train link between the airport and downtown Montreal.