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New traffic snarls to follow updated MUHC superhospital plans
MONTREAL - The MUHC superhospital has laid out its construction plan for the next few years, and it entails lots of road closures around the Glen Yards.
Much to the dismay of west end drivers, the St. Jacques Street exit from the westbound Ville Marie Expressway will close in February and is only scheduled to reopen in August.
Last year that exit was closed in February and was supposed to open in late spring, but ended up being closed until Sept. 2.
However unlike last year, St. Jacques St. itself will remain open in both directions.
"The offramp will be closed by the Transport department but St. Jacques street won't be closed," said Alain Trudeau of the city of Montreal. "We will have a reduction in term of capacity but the capacity of the street will be maintained in both direction at all times."
The city of Montreal will also be replacing sewer lines and water mains on Decarie Blvd. just west of the hospital, work that is expected to be finished by May.
Between June and December the city is planning to work on sewers in a grid from Northcliffe Ave. to Grey Ave. and from De Maisonneuve Blvd. to Sherbrooke St.
There are two other major construction projects planned that do not yet have fixed dates.
The railway bridge that spans Decarie Blvd. has to be rebuilt, and that project is expected to take a full year beginning at some point this summer.
Once that is completed the city will redesign the five-point intersection of Decarie Blvd., De Maisonneuve Ave. and Upper Lachine Rd.
That roadwork is tentatively planned to end in the spring of 2014.
Notice delivered at 'Good Neighbours' meeting
The plan was updated Tuesday evening at one of the 'Good Neighbours' meeting the hospital has been regularly holding in order to keep residents who live in the area informed.
Some people who live in the neighbourhood were happy to see that the hospital, located between a busy highway and train tracks, has been able to provide more access points for pedestrians.
Those include an elevator within the Vendome Metro/Train Station, and a tunnel link from within the public transit station.
While the plans currently include a pedestrian bridge over the train tracks, hospital officials are negotiating to replace that with a second tunnel to the campus.
Urban planning professor Lisa Bornstein said it was obvious the design was still in progress.
"I think one of the things I saw today is that they're still working out the links between the hospital campus and site itself and the buildings and our intra-modal train/metro/bus station. And they haven't figured it out yet," said Bornstein.
Derek Robertson, who represents people being displaced by the plan to rebuild the Turcot Interchange, says the superhospital still has not managed to come up with a definite plan so people who live in St. Henri will be able to easily walk to the hospital.
"Its main entrances are on the north side. We really believe if this is going to be a health sector for all of the communities in the western part it should have full and complete access for people in the southwest," said Robertson.
Previously, MUHC representatives have said they expect pedestrians coming from the Southwest borough to use an emergency access road that will be otherwise reserved for ambulances.