MONTREAL – Montreal’s mayor announced Tuesday that a large part of Saint Catherine Street will be ripped up for renovations in a multi-million dollar makeover.
Starting in 2016, Saint Catherine street from Atwater to Bleury will get an underground overhaul.
The infrastructure under the thoroughfare is in dire need of renovations.
In August 2013, a giant sinkhole opened up at Guy and Saint Catherine street.
No one was injured in that incident.
“Thankfully we avoided the worst,” Mayor Denis Coderre told reporters Tuesday.
The cost of the first stage of the renovations will cost between $80 and $95 million and is expected to last two years.
Before anything is done, public consultations will be held to decide how the new Saint Catherine street can better accommodate cyclists and pedestrians.
“We have to renew all the infrastructure so we might as well do more than just change the pipes. We can decide how we want Saint-Catherine to look. Let’s all dream together,” said Coderre.
Montreal’s mayor promised business owners on the street that the work won’t last too long.
Merchants on Saint-Catherine street remember how construction on Saint-Laurent boulevard in 2008 dragged on, damaging many businesses on the main.
“I had friends who had businesses on Saint-Laurent and Parc avenue. It does affect business. For people downtown, there’s already no place to park. It’s difficult for everyone just coming downtown,” explains Off the Hook manager, Johnny Kim.
At Ruebens deli at the corner of Peel and Saint-Catherine, there’s hope that the city will take steps to protect merchants.
“We’re really hoping that they do something to help,” says Alex Riven. “Temporary walkways, alternative parking, it can all help alleviate the inconvenience of the ordeal.”