Major overhaul of Ste-Catherine Street to continue until 2025

Click to play video: 'What does $70M in road repair on Montreal’s Ste-Catherine Street look like?'
What does $70M in road repair on Montreal’s Ste-Catherine Street look like?
WATCH: Construction on Ste-Catherine Street in the heart of downtown is well underway. The two-block stretch between Peel and Mansfield streets is being overhauled. It will be under construction until 2025. The work represents one of the most important construction projects for Montreal and city officials say they want it done right. Global's Tim Sargeant explains. – Oct 16, 2023

It’s only a two-block area, but the complete rebuild of Sainte-Catherine Street West between Peel Street and Mansfield is described by city officials as the most complex active construction site in Montreal.

Crews have completely dug up the area and are working several metres deep, where the entire underground infrastructure network is fully exposed.

Dozens of telecommunication cables dating back to the 19th century are fully visible, many of them still in full operation. At the time they were inserted through long wooden beams to protect the wires from rocks and dirt.

Now workers are running the cables through reinforced plastic pipes.

Contractors are also installing new water pipes, gas lines, electric cables and eventually a new sewage system. All of this work continues while sidewalks, albeit narrower, remain open, as does access to all businesses in this busy commercial shopping and office district.

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“The city is monitoring us a lot. We have a lot of pressure to keep everything clean, to keep everything accessible to the business. It’s very important so we have to plan carefully,” Benoît Lebeau, the project manager, told Global News.

This is Phase 2 of the Ste-Catherine Street overhaul, a remake of the iconic strip between Atwater Avenue and de Bleury Street.

The street is being modernized with modern lighting, wider sidewalks and a more friendly shopping district.

”We want to renew Sainte-Catherine in order to maintain the attractivity of this commercial road,” Philippe Sabourin, the Montreal city spokesperson, told Global News.

The job requires safety personnel to help direct pedestrian traffic and allow heavy trucks and equipment to move between construction areas.

”We hear the trucks coming in the distance. We also have a look down to the right and left of the street, always seeing which traffic is going where,” Ken Robinson, who monitors traffic, told Global News.

Rebuilding the two-block strip is budgeted at $70 million and is expected to last until 2025. Work will be suspended between mid-November and mid-February and the street reopened to traffic to attract holiday shoppers to the area.

”A lot of shoppers will come into town,” Sabourin said.

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Business owners and city officials are hoping many more shoppers will return once the work is finished in 2025.


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