The city of Westmount is asking the courts to halt construction on the Ville-Marie Expressway – at least until Quebec's transport ministry finds a way to reduce traffic noise.

People living near the new Highway 720 westbound (which will be called Highway 136) say the new road will be far above acceptable sound levels.

In the original plans, the new highway was supposed to be built at a lower level than the current Highway 720. The new configuration would have kept the sound level relatively low for people living close to the highway.

The MTQ then modified the plans, and the new road won't be as low as promised, and therefore, the noise and pollution levels could also be raised.

The city of Westmount was in court Monday to demand an injunction against the MTQ, so it could be forced to stop construction until they return to the original plans.

The transport ministry argues the noise levels will not increase.

“There is no way where we are increasing the levels of the structures, so that means that the environment – we’re talking the noise levels – it’s actually improving. We’re not increasing the noise levels for residents,” said Transport Quebec spokesperson Sarah Bensadoun.

Westmount also wants the transport ministry to pay $10 million for a sound barrier to be built immediately, but the province argues that it won’t be necessary.

The debate will play out in court until Wednesday.