MONTREAL, Quebec: A quick fix is being put in place to help ease road congestion around the St. Lawrence Seaway in Quebec.
While waiting for a new bridge to be built over the river—a project that is expected to take at least ten years—drivers will be able to cross the river using a temporary causeway stretching between Nuns’ Island and Montreal.
The causeway will have three lanes in each direction and will be in place until the Nuns’ Island Bridge is permanently replaced as part of the construction of the new St. Lawrence bridge. The Nuns’ Island Bridge is a key link between major highways in Montreal and the Champlain Bridge—an essential Canada-United States trade corridor.
The minister of transport, infrastructure and communities, Denis Lebel, announced that a request for proposals to build the causeway will be issued in the shortly.
“We will build a temporary causeway between Nuns’ Island and Montreal to ensure the efficient movement of traffic and goods before and during the construction of the new bridge,” said Lebel. “After careful review of all options, I have determined that building a temporary causeway now is the fastest, safest, least disruptive and most cost-effective option.”
The plan is to open the causeway by 2015.
As for the new permanent bridge, Lebel noted: “We have already made significant progress in our environmental assessment and I have had many productive meetings with key stakeholders in the Montreal region.”
In the next few weeks, the federal government is expected to announce the winners of the RFP for consultants whose job it will be “to develop the financial business case for the new bridge”.