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What you need to know about Montreal's major Ste-Catherine W project

There will soon be a lot more construction on Sainte-Catherine St. W when phase two of upgrades to water lines and sidewalks begins next month. The whole project is expected to last for years.

“We are investing massively in our downtown because we are still in a downtown recovery period,” said Executive Committee Member Luc Rabouin.

A section between Mansfield and Peel streets will be done first, and that alone is expected to take about two years. All of Sainte-Catherine St. W is expected to be rebuilt by 2030.

The city says the work is necessary to update the century-old water infrastructure, which runs under downtown.

“It’s 1862 and 1876,” said Emilie Thullier, who’s also on the executive. “These is the oldest water infrastructure in montreal.”

Getting around construction is a headache, and there are also concerns among merchants in the area who are worried about what years of dust, noise, and barricades will do to business.

“We’re not going to be busy for a long while,” said Jean-Jacques Trudel, a co-manager at Layton Audio.

“There’s already a big crowd of our customers who say ‘we don’t want to come downtown, period,’” he added.

By the time construction is finished, Sainte-Catherine St. will have more space for pedestrians and less space for parking – eventually 38 parking spots will be removed.

The city is offering $5,000 compensation to affected businesses, and if a business is able to prove it suffered a loss in profit, it could receive an additional $40,000.

Even without the added money, Rabouin called the payout to each merchant “enormous,” while some business owners feel it’s not enough, especially after rent and taxes.

“$5000 is a joke. Our rent is more than almost $15,000 a month,” said Sports Crescent manager Santana Enrique. Top Stories

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