Turcot nature park should be expanded: Montrealers
As the Turcot Interchange reconstruction approaches completion many Montrealers are wondering how it will look when it is finished.
Of particular concern to those who live near the project is the park that will run along the south side Highway 20, pinched between the Lachine Canal and Notre Dame St.
But residents in NDG have long demanded something similar be done with the escarpment between St. Jacques St. and Highway 20 and now a report from Montreal's Public Consultation Office (OCPM) says that is exactly what should happen.
Lisa Mintz, leader of a citizens' group that cleans up the patch of wilderness and lobbies on its behalf (Sauvons La Falaise), was delighted by the recommendation.
"They say it's absolutely ridiculous to have a grand park which is made of a reconstructed site when there's a natural site right beside it that it should be connected to it," said Mintz.
More than 1,100 people took part in the consultation process, which recommends that the parkland being built south of the highway be connected to greenspace in the escarpment, which is already slated to be spiffed up with several trails and lookouts.
Many said the two sections should be connected via a pedestrian bridge over Highway 20, or a tunnel underneath the road.
Mayor Valerie Plante is very enthusiastic about the possibility of creating a new park.
"It is crucial that both the provincial, federal, and Montreal of course, invest to create this greenspace in that area," said Plante.
The Ministry of Transportation promised to consider the plan, with a spokesperson saying the Ministry will cooperate on the project with the city of Montreal.
Mintz was happy to hear about that promise, but she hopes that the first step is to build more fencing around the escarpment in order to prevent it being abused.
"If there could be a fence or even two fences between the businesses and the falaise. There's supposed to be a fence the whole length of the falaise and there is in many places except for where there's dumping," said Mintz.
With notes from Julian McKenzie