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Pedestrian tunnel won’t open in time for MUHC hospital

MONTREAL – Soon, a direct link will be built to help public transit users move directly between the Vendôme metro and train station and the MUHC at the Glen site.

But the opening of the million dollar pedestrian passage won’t be ready for the hospital’s opening on April 26.

The Agence métropolitaine de transport (AMT) is responsible for building nine metres of the underground link but the work won’t be finished until June.

”It will be made in a few months, in a few weeks. We could say that,” Laurent Gignat, the AMT project planning director told Global News on an exclusive tour.

The remaining 24 metres of the tunnel fall under the responsibility of the MUHC and its work is almost complete. The concrete tunnel with elevators only needs fresh paint on the walls and ceiling and new tiles to be installed on the floors.

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”We have about two weeks worth of work,” Pierre Major, MUHC planning manager told Global News.

The MUHC started working on its portion of the tunnel five years ago and is waiting for the AMT to catch up.

”We are disappointed for our patients and staff, but we’re happy in June it will be available,” Major said.

MUHC also added an elevator for people with reduced mobility but the AMT and STM never included that in the construction on their end. Instead, the public transit agencies plan to build a second tunnel with elevators later in the future but no date has been given.

The entire Vendôme metro station is being renovated in anticipation for the hospital’s opening but that won’t be complete until June.

Some riders are disappointed more efforts weren’t made to coordinate the tunnel’s construction with the opening of the hospital.

”I’m just amazed they didn’t think of it in the first place,” One AMT commuter train rider told Global News.

Five thousand people are expected to use the tunnel every day once it opens.

Already, 19,000 people use the Vendome metro station and 8,700 AMT riders come through same stop.

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