Demolition of the Bonaventure Expressway to give birth to the Quartier Bonaventure - A prestigious, distinctive and creative new gateway will give Montreal its first dedicated public transportation corridor

    MONTREAL, June 18 /CNW Telbec/ - Today, the mayor of Montreal, Gérald
Tremblay, and the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Société du Havre de
Montréal, Isabelle Hudon, unveiled the detailed concept of the first phase of
the Bonaventure Expressway's transformation. The Société du Havre de Montréal
recommended that the City of Montreal undertake immediately the Phase 1 work
of the Bonaventure Expressway transformation, the preliminary step in the
creation of the Quartier Bonaventure, the prestigious, distinctive and
creative new gateway, giving Montreal its first dedicated public
transportation corridor.
    This recommendation flows from the Transformation of the Bonaventure
Expressway Phase 1 Detailed Pre-project Design Report (Brennan/Saint Jacques),
presented to the City of Montreal by the Société du Havre de Montréal.
    "Rather than simply recommending a demolition project, we are proposing a
radical transformation of an expressway into a new living neighbourhood with
an arterial urban road on a human scale. This fantastic project will allow a
historic Montreal area to live again while giving priority to both public and
active transportation, including pedestrians, bicycles, various modes of
public transportation, hybrid vehicles, car pooling ....", said Isabelle
    "It gave me great pleasure, yesterday, to present the detailed concept of
the Bonaventure Expressway transformation to my Executive Committee colleagues
who reacted with great enthusiasm. I wish to congratulate the Société du Havre
de Montréal and its consultants, particularly the Cardinal Hardy team, for the
quality of its project that will be submitted shortly to the Office de
consultation publique de Montréal for consultation. The general public will
thus have another opportunity to express its views before the City adopts the
final version of this major project", said Mayor Tremblay.
    After 18 months of hard work and public dialogue that developed a wide
consensus on the Bonaventure Corridor, the Société du Havre de Montréal report
proposes a major $141 million structuring project that should generate $1.53
billion of private investment and 23,000 person years of employment during the
construction period. This report is the result of studies carried out on all
aspects of development, including planning, traffic and transportation,
environment, archaeology, underground infrastructure and the road pre-project
design. Moreover, the financial support of the Ministère des Affaires
municipales, Régions et Occupation du territoire was an important contribution
to the success of this phase of the project.
    The development concept is based on central city blocks, the Canadian
National rail viaduct, the western frontage of the Récollets faubourg, the De
la Commune city block to the south, the Dalhousie corridor to the west and the
transformation of the Bonaventure corridor where the expressway is brought to
ground level and transformed into an arterial urban road.
    The lowering of the Bonaventure Expressway begins with a descent between
De la Commune and Brennan streets. From Brennan Street, the arterial road will
split into two roadways, distributing the traffic around the central city
blocks, on both sides, using Duke Street northward and De Nazareth Street
    "We started with a clear and daring vision of the harbourfront. Today, we
have a concept of remarkable quality. It is an ambitious project that has the
power to transform Montreal, to make the City even more attractive, resolutely
modern, facing the future and respectful of the environment" said Mayor
Tremblay. "The Quartier Bonaventure project demonstrates that Montreal is
moving, that Montreal is more than ever 'in action' ", said the mayor.

    Priority of public transportation and pedestrian safety

    The Société du Havre de Montréal proposes an exclusive, dedicated
corridor for public transportation, known as the "Dalhousie Corridor", to
allow metropolitan buses to travel more quickly to and from the Downtown
Terminus. Buses to and from Nuns Island can also use this corridor. The
project envisages the creation of a new bus terminal on Dalhousie Street. This
project is the responsibility of the Agence métropolitaine de transport. The
Ministère des Transports du Québec, the Société de transport de Montréal, the
Réseau de transport de Longueuil, Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges
Incorporated as well as several City of Montreal departments have cooperated
closely with the l'Agence métropolitaine de transport (AMT) and the Société du
Havre de Montréal in developing this proposal.
    A modal switch of around 3,800 car users is envisaged by this project.
This will allow an increase in the number of moves in the Bonaventure
corridor, while at the same time, reducing the automobile flow by about 20%.

    Self-financing project

    The creation of the Quartier Bonaventure, rather than simply demolishing
the Bonaventure Expressway, provides significant economic advantages for
governments and a guaranteed return on investment for Montrealers. Thus the
amounts invested by the City of Montreal and should it so decide, by the AMT,
will generate 6.7 times more private-sector investment, specifically $1.53
billion. These private-sector investments will provide municipal revenue of
$99 million in land sales, construction permits and duties on transfers of
immovables or "Welcome Taxes", and eventually $32 million in property taxes.
The expected revenues of the Quebec and Canadian governments reach,
respectively $224 million and $96 million.
    "This is how we can transform an inevitable investment in expressway
infrastructure maintenance into a structuring project for the economy of
Montreal", said Mayor Tremblay. He indicated further that the creation of the
Quartier Bonaventure will eliminate costs of more than $45 million in the next
five to eight years that would have been necessary for renovation had we
decided to maintain the existing expressway structure, and more than $100
million for a complete reconstruction twenty years later. Furthermore, the
studies of the Société du Havre de Montréal demonstrated that it would be much
more cost effective to transform the Bonaventure Expressway into a large
arterial urban road than to renovate it, from an economic as well as from
environmental and urban planning perspectives.
    With priority on sustainable development, the Bonaventure Expressway
transformation project is divided into three distinct phases:

    Phase 1  Urban section between Brennan and Saint Jacques streets
    Phase 2  Riverside section between the Victoria and Champlain bridges
    Phase 3  Section between Peel Basin - Victoria Bridge and Brennan Street

    Certain preliminary work will begin this month. It consists of replacing
and rehabilitating the underground infrastructure. It will have no impact on
the design of the project that will be approved by the City after public
consultation. During this work, as well as during all subsequent work,
automobile traffic and public transportation will receive all the necessary
measures to maintain the flow.
    The work on the infrastructure and the roadway should be completed in
three and one half years. This schedule will provide the City of Montreal with
a site to develop a prestigious new city gateway starting as early as 2013.
    "Transformation projects of expressway corridors rarely have such a great
impact on an area and a community. This project follows in the path of the
achievements that have transformed Montreal over the last two decades. It is
comparable to the revitalisation of Vieux-Montréal and the creation of the
Quartier international de Montréal", said Ms. Hudon.
    The mission of the Société du Havre de Montréal is to propose the major
elements in a concerted plan for the development of the harbourfront and the
urban areas around it, as well as an implementation structure and a financial

For further information:

For further information: André Bouthillier, Société du Havre de
Montréal, (514) 895-0127

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