St. Henri residents oppose provincial Turcot plan
Community groups are demanding Transports Quebec change its plan to rebuild the Turcot Interchange.
300 people jammed into a community centre in St. Henri Thursday night to hear and present arguments against the province's plan.
Many of those present say they are living under a cloud of uncertainty, not knowing if their homes will be bulldozed for a new highway.
Jane Lacombe and her family live in a building that is reportedly on the demolition block.
"We don't exactly have a 'plan B' right now," said Lacombe. "We'd love to stay in this neighbourhood, that's the thing."
The provincial plan for the Turcot includes relocating Highway 20 closer to the St. Jacques escarpment, expropriating several dozen houses, and building a ground-level interchange.
The city of Montreal presented an alternate plan earlier this month that called for fewer lanes, an elevated roundabout, and parks and tramways.
Councillor Veronique Fournier, member of the opposition Vision Montreal party, is among those who support the city's plan.
"This project has to be an urban one, has to increase the urban development and make sure that public health is also respected," said Fournier.
Many at the meeting are hoping the province will agree to modify its plan.
"We need our trains, our trams, our metro, our transport collective," said St. Henri resident Derek Robertson. "They all need to work together and right now they're not."
Despite the emergency repairs announced this week for the Turcot, and the province's mandate to finish the reconstruction by 2017, the city of Montreal hopes its plan will be reconsidered.
"It's never too late to make a good choice," said city employee Daniel Bouchard. "The infrastructure will stay there for at least a century. I think we can take some more months to make the right decision."
In the end, the province will get the final say.
On Wednesday May 12, engineers Hellen Christodoulou and Dr. Saeed Mirza will discuss the Turcot Interchange plans live on CTV News at Noon.