$1.2 billion public works plan will focus on aging water system, crumbling roads
Published Monday, April 16, 2018 2:01PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, April 16, 2018 6:30PM EDT
The City of Montreal unveiled part of its public works agenda for the year on Monday, and more roadwork is on its way.
The city will spend $1.2 billion repairing roads and the city’s water system, a boost of $490 million more than was spent in 2017.
Much of the focus is on 100 kilometres of Montreal’s aging water mains and pipes, as well as repairing 330 kilometres of streets and sidewalks.
“What we want to do is to improve the coordination of all the roadworks that we have in Montreal,” said Executive Committee Vice-President Sylvain Ouellet.
City officials said they are aiming for better coordination with other levels of government, as well as utility and telecommunications companies, to ensure that roads need only be dug up once.
Calling 2018 a transition year, these are among the main projects this year:
- Pie-IX St.
- Ste-Catherine St. between Bleury and Mansfield
- Peel St, between Sherbrooke and Pins
- St-Hubert between Bellechasse and Jean-Talon
- St-Denis between Jean-Talon and Jarry
- St-Paul between Berri and McGill
Much work is ongoing and remains to be done to catch up on neglected infrastructure, but the city must also look at how to redesign roads for the future.
“When we dig a road, when we want to reconstruct a road, because the life expectancy is at least half a century, we want to redesign it for pedestrians, cyclists, making sure there is room to add trees,” said Ouellet. “This is a new opportunity.”
Companies will also be responsible if the road surface degrades, so that citizens don't get stuck with the bills.
- $542 million will be spent to refurbish roads, sidewalks, intersections, overpasses and more.
- $348 million will be spent on water mains, pipes and aqueducts.
In 2017, the city added 59 new kilometres of bikes paths. This year, that number has been reduced to 33 kilometres but Ouellet said the focus will be on making the new and existing paths safer.
“What we want is to attract more new cyclists, people that are not already comfortable on the road, people that are not using it already. We want to improve the security,” said Giguere.
After they repair all the underground infrastructure on St-Andre St., it will become what will be called a ‘bicycle road.’ Cars will still be able to use it, but from Cherrier to Laurier, cyclists will have priority.
The leader of the opposition at city hall said the Plante administration isn't offering anything new.
“What they're doing is essentially repackaging the amounts and the investments that we had put forward in the sense of continuity. It's important. We all know that there's an incredible amount of infrastructure deficit so this is welcome but also in continuation,” said Lionel Perez, leader of the opposition.