With some several hundred large and small comstruction projects currently underway in Montreal causing major transit headaches, it appears more are on the way. Plans for 25 large infrastructure projects in 2019 were announced last Thursday – an expected total of $766 million, approximately half of which are for roads, tunnels and bridges.
Sylvain Ouellet, the Montreal executive committee member in charge of infrastructure says that almost half the roads in Montreal need to be improved, whether it be on the surface or replacing the underground infrastructure. An alleged 260 kilometers need to be repaired or rebuilt. “Polymers in asphalt can be modified to make it much more durable, and for some reason, this is not being done,” says Robert Libman, a former member of the executive committee.
Under Denis Coderre’s plan, 500 kilometres of the city’s road network would have been tackled every year, but the Plante administration says that is too much, saying it won’t work on more than 300 km of roads every year extending roadwork from 5 years to a decade. An average of about 44% to 55% of roads in Montreal are in bad condition, almost double the Canadian standard of 24%. Businesses are being considered during the major construction period. The city has set aside a budget of $25 million over the next four years to help businesses affected by the public work projects.Many observers have questioned whether that is anywhere near enough.