Here is the rendition that has been making the rounds as supplied by Transport Quebec.
It sure looks nice and green and all that and the implication is that the current version of Autoroute 20 will be removed and replaced by trees and lawns, and that there will be some extending of the Falaise Saint Jacques which would eliminate Pullman street. Not bad! Of course I would prefer to see the highway as far from the Falaise as possible, as in where it is now, but they obviously have made the change to enable traffic to continue to flow during most of the construction. I will discuss the other possible options on that in a future post.
And for now, some fearless critiques and comments on The Plan.
1) In this rendition Notre Dame street looks like a series of locks to be traversed but are probably overpasses. Could be a major traffic issue if Notre Dame is to be blocked for any length of time. It currently serves as a short cut and “feeder” to the 20 especially during rush hours. It is also the closest thing to a rush hour bus lane the STM uses. The 211/221(rush hour version) buses, along with commuter trains, are the main public transportation to the West Island.
2) Looks like the old train route through Saint Henri will remain intact with some landscaping around the Jaztex et Austres building and the soon to be deserted 2M Ressources. Rumor has it that a high speed train from PET International to downtown may go through there one day. Now there are residents in this area who will be very inconvenienced during construction. I wonder if a bike/pedestrian overpass would work along there?
3) Does not look like any special links for the Glen Yards Superhospital is included here (though construction of the hospital and the interchange will be simultaneous at some point) . And Saint Jacques will go over the lead road with a new ramp for Saint Remi to connect NDG and Saint Henri. I wonder if all these streets leading into or near the interchange will ever be closed simultaneously? Have to be careful with those logistics!
4) Rue De L’Eglise will be quite different. If they want to build alongside the current elevated line they will have to take some buildings out and it all may add to the worst traffic nightmare imaginable for Cote Saint Paul, especially as the La Verendrye ramp is going to be completely changed, let alone probable blockages at the Saint Remi tunnel.
5) Would be nice to see the Angrignon overpass as it will look in the future along with the whole of Turcot Yards. The west end of Turcot will surely be extremely busy and it would be interesting to see the logistical plan for dealing with that. Major access points to the 20 for NDG and Lasalle.
6) They say that by building the new interchange on the ground they can maintain traffic flow. Perhaps for the first few years things will run smoothly, but how on earth are they going to connect Decarie Expressway and the new Turcot Interchange without there being major stoppages in traffic? They will have to lower the “mouth” of decarie to meet the new ramps, close off and demolish the old ramps, and build the new lanes towards each other. Going to be very tricky to say the least. And the Ville Marie will present the same problem!