Cavendish Blvd. extension on ice, disappears from city budget
MONTREAL—It's been talked about for years: the extension of Cavendish Blvd. But just when it seemed like ground was going to be broken, another road block hit when the city announced plans to pull the project from its latest budget.
When the city’s 2012-2013 budget will be presented this week, the $44 million project to extend Cavendish Blvd. north towards St-Laurent will be absent.
“Suddenly the City of Montreal is saying they want it removed. All of the other cities on the island, the demerged cities don’t, want it removed. We think it’s very important for all Montrealers and all people that live on the island,” said Cote-St-Luc mayor Anthony Housefather.
The two phased extension was supposed to connect the road between Cote-St-Luc and St-Laurent and ease traffic along the congested Decarie highway. The project seemed like it would finally happen in March as it was made a condition of the Blue Bonnet race track deal struck between the City of Montreal and the province.
But the extension was dependent on the re-election of the Liberals and since that didn't happen, the city can't guarantee it will get the funding.
"It was clearly indicated in the capital budget that the realization of the Cavendish project, like the Tramway, is dependent on government grants,” said Michael Applebaum, the mayor’s main lieutenant, in a statement.
“We have removed these projects from the budget to avoid inflating the budget unnecessarily."
Talked about for decades, millions of dollars have been poured into feasibility studies to somehow connect the one kilometre gap between both stretches of Cavendish Blvd.—now divided by one of the island’s main east-west railroad trunks.
Housefather says he refuses to allow the project to go on the backburner again.
“I am confident that the logic is there for this to happen and that anybody who tries to put their blocks on it is going to get pushed out of the way because the vast majority of the people on this island want this project to happen,” said Housefather.
It will be up to the new Parti Quebecois government to decide if the road can go anywhere. The PQ’s MNAs will be sworn in on Monday.