Minister Lebel consults mayors on the new bridge over the St. Lawrence

MONTREAL, Nov. 14, 2011 /CNW/ - Consultations on the project for the new bridge over the St. Lawrence continued today. The Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, met with the mayors of Montreal, Longueuil and Brossard this afternoon to hear their concerns on this matter.

Following his meeting with economic and business stakeholders in the Montreal region on October 31, the Minister had a productive meeting with the mayors about the future bridge. He listened to what they had to say about the issue of tolling and public transit, and discussed the cities' current and future needs regarding this crossing.

"The views of the Montreal, Longueuil and Brossard mayors are essential to a good planning process for the new bridge over the St. Lawrence," said Minister Lebel. "That is why I am listening to their opinions. The efficiency of this corridor for drivers, public transit users and truckers contributes to the quality of life of residents and workers of greater Montreal, and is a vital part of the economy of the region and the country as a whole."

"Holding these consultations, six weeks after the federal government confirmed construction of a new bridge, shows Minister Lebel's firm intention to proceed as quickly as possible with this project. The fact that we are already at work on this file proves that the needs of the citizens of greater Montreal are a priority for the Canadian government. As mayor of Montreal and president of the Montreal Urban Community, I reconfirm to Minister Lebel my complete cooperation," said Montreal Mayor Gérald Tremblay.

"I welcome the federal government making the South Shore a partner in this major project, because we contribute to the metropolitan region's economic growth on a daily basis. This new bridge will guarantee the flow of commerce between our two river banks that amounts to more than $20 billion per year. I am also reassured by Minister Lebel's commitment to integrate public transit on the new bridge so that it will be built to accommodate a vision of sustainable development," said Longueil Mayor Caroline St-Hilaire.

"The City of Brossard is pleased to contribute to the consultation process initiated by Minister Lebel to get the construction project for the new bridge underway. Just a few weeks after the official announcement, we see the commitment of the federal government to moving this file forward. As mayor of one of the cities most affected by the impact of building the new bridge, the minister and other stakeholders will be able to count on my complete cooperation throughout the process," said Brossard Mayor Paul Leduc.

Preliminary work on the new bridge over the St. Lawrence is progressing. Over the coming months, the federal government will continue to meet with key partners, including representatives of the Government of Quebec.

On October 5, 2011, Minister Lebel announced that the Government of Canada will proceed with a new crossing to replace the existing Champlain Bridge. The six-lane bridge is the busiest vehicular bridge in Canada. An estimated 11 million public transit commuters, 60 million vehicles and $20 billion in international trade cross it annually. The bridge is an essential trade corridor for the regional economy and benefits the national economy. It also responds to the objectives of Canada's gateway strategies.

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This news release may be made available in alternative formats for persons living with visual disabilities.  

SOURCE Transport Canada

For further information:

Pierre Floréa
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Denis Lebel
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec
Media Relations
Transport Canada,Ottawa


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