Citizen groups defend green overpass yanked from Turcot Interchange plans
Published Sunday, June 11, 2017 6:01PM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, June 11, 2017 7:25PM EDT
Despite being a promising project for cyclists and pedestrians, a proposed green overpass was yanked from the Turcot Interchange project as a cost-cutting measure.
The project was estimated to cost around $38 million dollars.
But passionate citizen groups are lobbying to get the Transport Ministry to reinstate the project and build the bridge over the original interchange.
Back in April, Transport Quebec stated that they would not reverse their decision to reinstate the overpass project.
But groups like Sauvons la Falaise believe that the project can proceed at a more conservative budget. They’re supported by local community members from NDG and the South West boroughs, whose communities could be linked if the bridge is ever constructed.
Residents of the two neighbourhoods say that the proposed project was the only measure taken to appease those who are inconvenienced by ongoing construction work and the ensuing pollution.
The bridge, part of the original plans for the Turcot project, would simplify the commute for thousands of Montrealers daily, making the ride from NDG to the South West borough a shorter one.
“You have to go all the way to St. Henri and then reconnect from Decarie and pass to NDG—so it’s a really big detour,” said Tania Gonzalez, a resident.
A spokesperson for the Transport Minister said the idea of the bridge is not out of the Question, but it won’t be a part of the current Turcot project.
It could be part of a separate project once the Interchange is finished. However, that won’t be until at least 2020, and people are demanding the bridge now because they say it will be used.
An estimated 7500 people use the Lachine bike path daily.
“You can’t say to people ‘well, you should walk more, you should use your bike more, you should be more friendly with the environment,’ and not offering this infrastructure to allow it,” said Felix Gavel, a member of one of the environmental groups.
The community groups have gathered nearly 10,000 signatures on a petition that will be presented to the National Assembly this week.