3rd link: the CAQ opts for a more modest tunnel

The new version of the Québec-Lévis tunnel will have one lane less and will operate with dynamic lane management. The CAQ government hopes to make the project more acceptable, then to forget the sterile confrontation on the tram and the last difficult weeks.

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The CAQ knows that it will not convince everyone with its third link project. But she wants to diminish criticism of its off-putting cost and the caricatures of “the biggest tunnel in the world” that have made it a national symbol.

It is no longer six lanes (two lanes for vehicles and one lane for public transport in each direction) that are planned.

There will certainly be one less and it is by dynamic management of the lanes, based for example on rush hours and hours allowed for heavy traffic, that the government believes it can ensure smooth traffic between the two shores, according to our information.

Thus, exit the two-storey version, forcing the digging of the largest tunnel diameter.

This change will lower the estimated cost of the project, while the initial range had been set between $7 and $10 billion.

The infrastructure promised by François Legault, although mocked by many opponents, will rebalance traffic in the Capitale-Nationale, too concentrated in the west.

And also to finally provide the greater region with rapid public transport to connect the city centers.

We will have to wait for the official presentation next week to find out more.

Even at the Ministry of Transport, the information is kept in the hands of a narrow circle of people involved.

The project does not go through the committee of other infrastructure initiatives; it has its own governance.

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Change the wrong place

The Legault government has experienced bad times since the return of the two weeks of parliamentary recess, despite a good budget and a health overhaul plan.

There was the method of indexing Hydro rates according to inflation, the revelations about the management of the scandal at the Herron residence, the increase in permitted nickel emissions and the useless confrontation with the mayor of Quebec on the tram.

Ministers immediately recognize that some of their colleagues have felt more nervous since the Duhaime effect.

A government source also believes that the caquists have learned their lesson on the tram.

Even if elected officials from Quebec are being shouted at by worried citizens, the government cannot speak out without appearing to undermine the project.

He understood that he had to be clearly for, or clearly against.

And since the tramway and the tunnel go hand in hand in the Capital Express Network, the second choice was not an option.

“We have chosen our camp”, we insist.

other hard times

In Quebec, the caquistes hope that they will be able to rally a large majority of voters with the combination of the tramway and the tunnel.

On the other hand, the effect of the revelations on the management of the human tragedy in Herron is not over.

The report of coroner Géhane Kamel, who did not put white gloves in the conclusion of her investigation into the death of Joyce Echaquan, risks being devastating for the government.

The two ministers targeted by critics for several weeks, Marguerite Blais and Danielle McCann, will leave political life at the end of this mandate.

The result of Monday’s by-election in Marie-Victorin may help gauge the degree of anger or understanding toward the government and its handling of the first wave of the pandemic.

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