Opening of Boulevard des Allumettières

    GATINEAU, QC, Dec. 3 /CNW Telbec/ - Representatives of the governments of
Canada and Quebec today officially opened the Boulevard des Allumettières in
    The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and
Communities; Ms. Julie Boulet, Minister of Transport of Quebec; Mr. Benoît
Pelletier, Minister responsible for the Outaouais region and MNA for Chapleau;
Mr. Roch Cholette, MNA for Hull; Ms. Charlotte L'Ecuyer, MNA for Pontiac, and
Mr. Marc Bureau, Mayor of Gatineau, were present to mark the opening, which is
good news for the population of the Outaouais region.
    "Canada's transportation and infrastructure systems are of vital
importance to the Government of Canada," said Minister Cannon. "We are proud
to have contributed, once again, to improving and developing the roads in the
Outaouais region. This new road will bring major benefits to local residents."
    "This new road will be a key asset for the economy of the Outaouais
region," said Minister Boulet. "It was designed with respect for Gatineau
Park, the environmental jewel through which it passes. It will reduce
congestion on nearby roads, as well as greenhouse gases. I am pleased to be
taking part in the opening of this important road, which honours courageous
women, the match factory workers who played an important role in the region's
    "Starting today, drivers will be able to use a road which has been long
awaited in the region," said Minister Pelletier. "I am pleased to be
participating in the inauguration of this major expansion of the Outaouais
transportation system."
    "This is a great day in the history of the Outaouais region," said
Mr. Cholette. "This opening marks the culmination of a project we have all
held dear for 35 years. Today I am pleased to say: mission accomplished!"
    "I am very pleased to be inaugurating this road today together with my
colleagues and my federal counterpart. The Boulevard des Allumettières will
greatly facilitate travel from Pontiac to the eastern part of the City of
Gatineau," said Ms. L'Ecuyer. "Starting today, people in Pontiac will be
served by the quality road system they expect, one that will be more efficient
than ever."
    "I am very pleased to be inaugurating the Boulevard des Allumettières
today, especially because its name evokes memories that are part of the
collective memory of Gatineau residents," said Mayor Bureau. "This new road,
which will improve east-west travel, is also special because of citizen
involvement in its development."
    The governments of Canada and Quebec have invested $96 million in this
project. The funding was shared equally by the two governments under the
agreement to improve the road system in the Quebec portion of the National
Capital Region (the Outaouais Roads Agreement).
    Representatives of both governments said that the population of the
Outaouais region can be proud of this urban boulevard because of both its
modern design and its historical symbolism.
    A backgrounder on the complete Boulevard des Allumettières construction
project is attached.



    The Boulevard des Allumettières was built in three stages, the first two
of which were completed in 2004 and 2005. The last phase, which has just been
completed, involved the construction of a 1.7-km boulevard with two lanes in
each direction separated by a landscaped median strip, between Lac-des-Fées
Drive and Saint-Raymond Blvd.
    The work also included building access ramps to Saint-Raymond Blvd.,
Gatineau Drive, and Lac-des-Fées Drive; building an overpass at Gatineau Drive
and a bridge 290 metres long above the Fairy Creek valley; upgrading
Lac-des-Fées Drive; and making the connection to the second phase near the
intersection with Labelle Street. Recreational trails with three underpasses
were built as well.
    The completion of Boulevard des Allumettières will smooth traffic flow and
reduce air pollution by reducing traffic on Saint-Raymond Blvd. and
Alexandre-Taché Blvd.
    In Gatineau Park, several measures were taken to reduce environmental
impacts, including reforestation and landscaping with native species to
integrate the new road into the adjacent natural environment, as well as the
construction of a temporary bridge during the winter eliminate encroachment on
the Fairy Creek valley. A number of environmental evaluations were conducted
during construction, and will continue in the future.
    Measures taken to reduce the impacts of the construction process included
traffic control, adding silencers to some of the equipment, putting temporary
noise screens around areas where work was under way, using back-up alarms on
trucks and machinery with volumes that vary according to surrounding noise
levels, and dust control.

                                                               November 2007

For further information:

For further information: Karine White, Press Secretary, Office of the
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities and Minister responsible
for Quebec, (613) 991-0700; Media Relations, Transport Canada, Ottawa, (613)
993-0055; Daniel Desharnais, Political Attaché, Office of the Quebec Minister
of Transport, (418) 643-6980; Marcel Lapointe, Information Officer, Quebec
Department of Transport, (819) 772-3107, ext. 236; Véronique Milot, Press
Secretary, Office of the Minister, responsible for the Ouataouais region and
MNA for Chapleau, (819) 246-4558; Maryse Gaudreault, Policy Advisor, Office of
Roch Cholette, (819) 772-3000; Nadia Nault, Political Attaché, Office of
Charlotte L'Ecuyer, (819) 684-4400; Michel Déziel, Assistant to the Chief of
Staff, City of Gatineau, (819) 243-2345, ext. 7128

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