The mayor of Vaudreuil-Dorion is anxious to have the repair work finished on the Île aux Tourtes Bridge, but even with Transports Quebec‘s promise to put more money into the project, he fears they left out one crucial detail.
Structural work is necessary to strengthen the 51-year-old bridge. The south side of the bridge was completed last year and the northern side continues to be repaired.
This forced the closure of one lane in the westbound direction for the duration of the structural work.
Mayor Guy Pilon is pushing the transport ministry to add a reserved bus lane on the bridge during rush hour.
He says the change is necessary to accommodate one of the fastest-growing residential and commercial areas in the country.
“Make sure you have some reserved lanes for commuter transportation,” he said.
Most off-island residents use cars to get around, creating bottlenecks on the approach to the bridge.
Despite the AMT commuter trains already serving the area, the new electric train project will only reach Sainte-Anne-De-Bellevue, leaving many to rely on the bridge to gain access to the network.
Pilon said a new bus lane could serve as an express route to move thousands of people directly to Ste-Anne’s.
“Whatever you do, we need that lane,” he added.
Transports Quebec wouldn’t comment but is expecting to give the mayor an answer in the coming months.
The current job on the bridge is scheduled to continue until the spring and is part of the ministry’s $4.6 billion province-wide infrastructure budget for the next three years.
The ministry might not keep the bridge around for long though. As they continue to pour money into reparations, the ministry is considering tearing down the bridge and building a new one.
No matter what the government decides to do, Pilon hopes the bridge will have a reserved bus lane.