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Some mayors frustrated at Cavendish extension delays

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Some suburban mayors say the City of Montreal is continuing to drag its feet on extending Cavendish Boulevard, the ongoing saga that has been talked about for more than a half century.

Recently, there was hope that it would finally happen, but it now seems far from a reality.

Cote-St-Luc Mayor Mitchell Brownstein remains baffled as to why it's not moving forward.

"It has to get done. It's a question of when," he said.

Brownstein thought it was finally answered in 2017 when Montreal announced plans for a housing development at the old Blue Bonnets Racetrack.

Quebec gave the city the land on the condition that it starts work on extending Cavendish.

A Cote-St.-Luc councillor looked at the city's capital works budget and found that since 2017, millions of dollars have been allocated for initial work, but Brownstein said little, if anything, has been done.

"The money has not been spent, and money specifically for the environmental studies has not been spent, and that's where we are now," he said. "You can't go forward without the environmental studies."

Proponents of the Cavendish extension say it would benefit the towns of St. Laurent, Mont-Royal and Cote-St.-Luc while decreasing traffic on the often-congested Decarie Expressway (A-15).

Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante's team said no one was available to comment on the extension but provided a statement.

"The basic idea behind the Cavendish project is to create a sustainable mobility axis with structured public transport that will connect several neighbourhoods," the statement read.

The city did not answer specific questions about the lack of progress and where the money has been spent.

"If I didn't know better, I would say that it's a deliberate attempt to stall, delay, obfuscate," said Saint-Laurent borough Mayor Alan DeSousa of the opposition Ensemble Montreal party. "We have seen the money allocated in the budget, but we haven't seen any of those moneys spent."

The municipalities and boroughs are now appealing to the province to force Montreal to do the work many have been waiting for decades to see done. 

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