LAC-MÉGANTIC, Que. – The government of Canada and the government of Quebec have signed an agreement-in-principle to jointly fund a rail bypass project around the town of Lac-Mégantic, Quebec that was devastated by fire after a train loaded with oil cars exploded, killed 47 people and destroyed the downtown on July 6, 2013.
The 12.8 kilometre route with an estimated cost of $133 million was selected based on a feasibility study managed by the municipality of Lac-Mégantic. The study assessed technical characteristics, social impacts, territorial planning, environmental considerations, and grade crossings and culverts. The next phase of the study will clarify the cost for the rail bypass.
The Government of Canada provided financial support for the rail bypass feasibility study, which was managed by the municipality of Lac-Mégantic and conducted by the engineering firm AECOM.
The federal government has also reached an agreement with the Central Maine & Quebec Railway, the project proponent, which will also own and operate the new rail infrastructure.
The Government of Canada will continue to work closely with Lac-Mégantic, the neighbouring municipalities of Frontenac and Nantes, the Government of Quebec, and other stakeholders to complete this important project, and support the community as it rebuilds itself once again into a beautiful, vibrant place to live, work, and visit.
“Hope and resilience have come to define the people of Lac-Mégantic,’ said prime minister Justin Trudeau. “For nearly five years, they have worked incredibly hard to recover and rebuild, and create a better future for their community. Today, we take another step forward. And while we know there are some wounds that can never heal, we sincerely hope this new rail bypass marks a new beginning for the people of Lac-Mégantic.”
The Government of Canada will fund 60 per cent of the total cost of the rail bypass project.