Tramway: Marchand completely dismisses the long tunnel

Even if the Legault government left the door ajar to a long tunnel in the Montcalm sector, Bruno Marchand completely ruled out this scenario, because it would risk, according to him, causing delays and additional costs to the tramway project.

• Read also: Tramway: the CAQ authorizes the shared street but… leaves the door open to a longer tunnel

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This is what the mayor of Quebec said on Friday afternoon, on the sidelines of a press briefing.

Asked whether the long tunnel was still part of the City’s plans, Mr. Marchand answered with a categorical “no”, giving two reasons.

“If we’re going to go to tender (in the next couple of weeks), that means not tweaking the reference design on something as significant as that. It’s four months of extra work. In addition, it’s $500 million, whereas we could very well do that without that tunnel and develop an interesting neighborhood. We’re not going to blow up the bank, that doesn’t work.”

Verification made with the mayor’s office, a long tunnel which would go from the Jean-Paul-L’Allier garden to the avenue des Érables, would cost between 320 and 380 million $ additional – and not 500 million $ more – by compared to the short tunnel that would exit at the Grand Théâtre. But whatever the cost, Mayor Marchand clearly sees no point in bringing this debate to the fore.

“Even if the government said ‘we have the $500 million. We’re ready to put it on, there’s no problem’, that’s not what I’m going to put it on. When we look at all of what we can continue to develop to beautify this city, it is not there that it would be the most profitable, ”he argued.

Shared street amenities

According to him, “people understand that there are not just inconveniences (to the shared street). There are a lot of conveniences in having the tramway pass on the surface at Cartier (…) It’s also one of the advantages of having a tramway versus a metro. You are on the surface. You are building a city. We are able to greatly improve neighborhood life and that is what we want”.

Mr. Marchand insisted on saying that the scenario of the shared street is the one favored by the citizens and he was pleased to see that the Ministry of the Environment is going in the same direction as the City on this subject.

The other conditions issued in the decree, such as the one relating to ambient noise, did not seem to worry the mayor who repeated that a tram makes less noise than a bus anyway.

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