Montreal, Quebec to spend $140 million to cover Ville Marie
The city of Montreal is estimating that its plan to cover 125 metres of the Ville Marie Expressway and create a park will cost $140 million.
The plan was first announced in February 2014, but at that time the Ministry of Transportation refused approval for the project.
A few months later the province shifted gears and offered $100 million toward the proposal.
More than a year later, the city has come up with concrete plans on how to spend that money from the province, and how much it will cost to cover 125 metres of the expressway and turn it into a park.
The city is going to cover the Ville Marie between Sanguinet St. and Hotel de Ville Ave. by the fall of 2017, in time for Montreal's 375th anniversary celebrations.
Long considered an eyesore, that exposed section of the Ville-Marie Expressway cuts off the downtown core from Old Montreal, something officials are seeking to change with a plan to cover that area.
Robert Bergeron had proposed covering the urban highway during the election campaign in 2013, saying the highway was a blight that divided the city, and that the citizens of Montreal should take back the space.
Montreal has now set aside $38 million to cover the highway and to landscape the park.
To do so, Transport Quebec is going to remove the Sanguinet St. exit that crosses the Ville Marie Expressway.
To compensate, the province and city are debating whether St. Denis St. will turn into a two-way street between Viger Ave. and St. Antoine St.
Transport Quebec estimates it will cost $100 million to remove the ramp, cover the highway, and alter St. Denis St.
This plan is somewhat smaller than first envisioned: the original proposal was to cover the highway from Saint Urbain St. to Sanguinet, but that full development has been put on hold.