As Turcot completion approaches, will parks find a way to connect?
MONTREAL -- Two of Montreal's planned green spaces are separated by a major highway and despite years of setbacks, advocates are still hoping the two might still be linked.
Falaise St-Jacques is the site of a planned 60 hectare city park. Nearby, a 30 hectare park will be carved out of the Turcot Yards. Plans have been proposed to connect the two for cyclists and pedestrians via an overpass dubbed Dalle Park but for over a decade that proposal has languished on paper.
Dalle Park would be constructed out of an old paved road that runs through the Falaise.
“It was simply a drawing. There was never any money budgeted for it,” said NDG MNA Kathleen Weil.
The proposal is not part of the ongoing Turcot Interchange project, according to the Quebec Transport Ministry, which estimated its cost at $50 million. With Turcot work scheduled for completion in January, community groups said action is urgently needed lest Dalle Park be forgotten.
The Falaise is already popular for a variety of activities, from bird watching to skateboarding. Activists are hoping they can still convince the province to include Dalle Park in the government's plan to fast-track construction projects.
But the government bill concerning infrastructure, part of an effort to rejuvenate the Quebec economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic, failed to pass during the current session and is on hold until September.
“The way government's usually work, if something's not prioritized, it doesn't usually happen,” said John Simon of community group Sauvons La Falaise.
To be realized, Dalle Park would have to be approved by both the provincial and municipal governments. City councillor Craig Sauve said the city hopes to see it happen.
“We're pressing the current government to make sure the money comes forward,” he said. “People in NDG, in Ville Emard, have been waiting a long time for this connection.”