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$6.4 billion extension project for Montreal's blue Metro line gets underway

After decades of talks, the first steps to building the Metro's blue line extension in Montreal are moving forward.

Five stations are expected to be up and running by 2029 at a cost of $6.4 billion.

Prep work is underway to build the new stations in the city’s east end. The extension will run along Jean-Talon with stops at Pie-IX, Viau, Lacordaire, Langelier and Anjou.

For the next four months, workers will be busy moving pipes and cables.

"It consists of relocating public underground infrastructure to make way for, eventually, the massive excavation work," said Maha Clour, the STM's senior project manager for the blue line extension.

Digging will begin in 2024 to build the Metro stations and excavation is set to last years.

"We are in a call for bids right now for the main contract, which will be the excavation of the tunnel," said Clour.

A map of the five new Metro stations coming to the blue line. (Source: STM)

It’s a long time coming for the east end. Traffic analyst Rick Leckner says a major project like this is a step in the right direction.

"The east end of the city is densely populated. I would say more so than other parts of the city. This will eventually link with the new rapid transit bus on Pie-IX," said Leckner, a former CJAD 800 traffic reporter.

He pointed out that this could help reduce traffic on nearby Highway 40.

"Anything that can be done to help the 40 would be excellent because the 40 is beyond capacity," he added.

The STM said drivers can expect lane closures around the five stations while the work is being done.

"We are integrating five new stations with big construction sites in a very dense urban sector," said the STM's Clour.

"So how to work with neighbourhoods, residents, business owners. So we’re trying our best to put in mitigation measures to make sure we can reduce the impact, whether it’s noise, dust, or vibrations."

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