New urban boulevard to be built in the West Island
MONTREAL - A long-promised urban boulevard linking Highway 40 with Gouin Blvd. is once again on the menu of campaign promises.
Transport Quebec and the City of Montreal have unveiled a new version of the long-discussed plan to create an extra route to ease overburdened traffic on the other north-south boulevards such as St. John’s and St. Charles Blvds.
The road, which would have six lanes – two reserved for busses – would be built on vacant land expropriate about three decades ago for just such a task, just west of the Colisee movie theatre in Kirkland.
The proposed road has not only been discussed, it has been thoroughly studied as well, including by a $700,000 feasibility study ordered by the City of Montreal Executive Committee in 2007.
Nelligan riding MNA Yolande James said it's not unusual for motorists to spend 45 minutes in their cars trying to get from parts of the West Island to Highway 40, so they've long needed another option.
“Everybody that's here from the local representatives, whether it be the mairesse of Pierrefonds or urban planners, we have been working hard for years literally to make this happen,” she said.
Transport Minister Pierre Moreau said the Liberal government has made this and an overpass connecting the new boulevard to Highway 40 a $40-million priority, in hopes it can eventually function as an overpass for an extension of Highway 440, linking Laval and Montreal.
“We are looking at ways to improve access to downtown Montreal, and this is part of a global project,” he said.
Critics, however, say it will only add more cars, including Pierrefonds resident Martha Bond who said she believes it’s all a plan to lure more housing into the area.
Bond said she’ll believe the project when she see it.
“The Liberals, PQ and CAQ, they all make announcements that are air -- and we're not fooled,” she said.
The province and city must sign an agreement on the deal, but believe that will occur by next spring.
The city would then study the environmental impact of constructing the boulevard.
The earliest construction of the boulevard would be in 2014.