IN PICTURES: A behind-the-scenes look at the access tunnel between the MUHC site and Vendome station
MONTREAL — Access to the McGill University Health Centre superhospital from its closest transport hub, the Vendome station, will be via a connecting underground tunnel.
Vendome station, which is home to a metro, commuter trains and city buses, is cut off from the hospital by train tracks, making it virtually inaccessible from the station.
The station welcomes 19,000 metro riders per day and 8,700 AMT commuter train passengers — and numbers are expected to rise when the superhospital opens its doors on April 26, 2015.
Instead of walking outside along de Maisonneuve Boulevard to Decarie Boulevard to the MUHC superhospital, as of June, Montrealers will be able to get to the hospital from the station via a 34-metre-long underground tunnel.
The underground tunnel project faced many challenges: how to make it as accessible as possible for as many users as possible, how to ensure it was safe for passengers in case of emergency, not to mention how to complete the work in one of the city’s busiest metro stations.
Advocates for those with reduced mobility have been frustrated because there is no elevator access to the tunnel from the STM metro station or the AMT commuter train platforms.
There is an elevator where the tunnel connects to the MUHC superhospital, and officials have confirmed that a second tunnel is in the works that will include elevator access from both the metro and the commuter train platforms.