Entrepreneur Luc Poirier proposes new link between South Shore and downtown

An investment without public funds to improve traffic flow in the metropolitan region

MONTREAL, Nov. 30, 2011 /CNW Telbec/ - Entrepreneur Luc Poirier has announced that he hopes to invest in the construction of a new tunnel to connect the South Shore and Île Notre-Dame, creating a new link toward downtown Montreal. This project would be funded entirely by private capital.

The goal is to complete the Downtown Tunnel in less than two years once government authorization is obtained. In addition to adding a sixth link between Montreal and the South Shore, it would contribute greatly to improving travel, alleviating pressure on existing infrastructures and mitigating the impact on traffic by pending work on the Louis-H. Lafontaine bridge-tunnel and the Champlain and Mercier bridges, as well as the extensive reconstruction of the Turcot interchange.

"One of the big issues in the next few years in the Greater Montreal region will be the road network's ability to deal with the transportation needs of people and goods. Our region's capacity for economic development and the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of people are at stake. Increased use of public transit is a commendable goal, but we need to be realistic and accept the fact that most people will continue to drive between the two shores," said Mr. Poirier, president of Investissement Luc Poirier.

By going under the Seaway and the Olympic basin, the proposed tunnel would connect highway 132 from St. Lambert, to Île Notre-Dame. Downtown Montreal would then be accessible by way of the de la Concorde Bridge, Pierre-Dupuy Avenue and the Bonaventure expressway. It would be a shore-to-shore link. The proposed type of construction, a bored tunnel, minimizes impact on natural environments and entails little or no change to the visual landscape.

The proposed tunnel would be equipped with an electronic toll system. It would provide free access for public transit vehicles and emergency vehicles and encourage active transportation by including a multi-use path (for pedestrians and cyclists). The project also includes measures to encourage public transit use, with reserved bus lanes and priority traffic lights on the South Shore and in Montreal.

Luc Poirier is an entrepreneur with a reputation for initiating innovative projects in several sectors, including real estate and recreational tourism. He spearheaded Saint-Bruno sur le Lac, a project that rehabilitated a former quarry site. He also initiated the Saint-Lambert sur le Golf and Bota Bota, spa-sur-l'eau projects.

He is the mastermind behind the Griffix project, a 20-storey residential development where units are currently on sale in the heart of Montreal's Griffintown neighbourhood and L'Oasis, a 12-story building in Candiac/Delson. Investissement Luc Poirier recently agreed to cede property on Île Charron to the Quebec government. This land will be annexed to the Parc national des Îles-de-Boucherville, thereby forfeiting significant potential for added value and protecting the park's role as a natural area in perpetuity.

"The work to be done on the various road infrastructures will reduce traffic flow between the South Shore and downtown for a number of years. The building of a new Champlain Bridge may take as long as 10 or 15 years. My intention therefore is to develop a project with a relatively short timeline—two years, once authorization is given—to help reduce pressure on the Champlain Bridge and other links," explained Mr. Poirier.

A conclusive prefeasibility study
A prefeasibility study conducted by the engineering firm Dessau shows that the project is technically realistic, taking current tunnel construction standards and practices into account. "The expert study confirms that my project is well-founded. Now I hope to develop it in collaboration with government authorities, who will have to provide the required authorizations, and the neighbouring communities. All required environmental and safety standards will be followed to the letter," assured Mr. Poirier.

Another study, conducted by Dessau's traffic experts, shows that travel between the South Shore and the Island of Montreal entails increasingly lengthy delays, and this phenomenon will only increase as the population grows, even if the shift from cars to public transit is taken into account. According to this study, the network is already heavily congested. The study concluded that in its first year of service, the Downtown Tunnel could handle 2,500 vehicles during rush hour and that daily traffic could be as high as 25,000 vehicles by its third year of operation, including 5,000 vehicles at peak periods.

It must be borne in mind that the proposed rebuilding of the Champlain Bridge will not increase the road network's capacity but might possibly increase public transit use with the addition of reserved bus lanes or LRT. Existing infrastructures will therefore have to absorb increased demand in automobile traffic during peak periods, estimated at 0.6% per year, which represents growth in the order of 10% over a 15-year period. "These projections show that a tunnel is indeed a critical solution that will help prevent the situation from deteriorating in the years ahead," concluded Mr. Poirier.

To consult the technical prefeasibility study, the study of the Downtown Tunnel's potential and to follow the project's evolution, visit www.investissementlucpoirier.com.

Pictures, a fact sheet, biographical notes, the prefeasibility study as well as the study on the project's potential, are available at: ftp://ftp.national.ca/medias/Investissement_Luc_Poirier/20111130/ Username: presse, Password: media


SOURCE Investissement Luc Poirier

For further information:

Luc Poirier
Investissement Luc Poirier
Serge Vallières
Roch Landriault


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Investissement Luc Poirier

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