The City of Montreal and the Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Corporation have announced a major urban development plan to develop the approaches of the Jacques Cartier Bridge and revitalize the surrounding area.
The city intends to build a new park between de Lorimier and Papineau avenues that will connect with an existing park on Ontario Street.
The city will contribute $110 million to the project, while the bridge corporation intends to spend $10 million to rejuvenate the surface under the bridge by creating public space.
Mayor Denis Coderre hailed the project as one that would improve the quality of life for borough residents.
“The makeover was a necessity, strictly based on safety,” Coderre said. “And truly it needed a lot of love.”
However, Coderre could not specify how much it would cost to maintain the park once it is built.
The mayor also added he would be open to sharing the cost with other levels of government.
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Montreal’s plan is to turn the area into a cyclist- and pedestrian-friendly neighbourhood. They’ll do so by extending the De Maisonneuve bike path to the trail east of the bridge.
The corporation will also extend its bike path to one managed by the City of Montreal.
In addition, the city said it plans on creating an urban farm on the corner of Logan and Dorion Streets, as well as an open market on Malo Avenue, and public art space on de Lorimier Avenue.
The area surrounding the Papineau metro station is also expected to get a facelift aimed at making it safer for people travelling by bus, and those using active modes of transportation.
The project is slated to begin in 2018 and is scheduled to be completed in 2025.
The date was chosen to coincide with the end of current construction on the Jacques Cartier and Champlain bridges.
Construction is expected to have some impact on traffic, but the mayor says the city will help will mitigate the problem.
Nearby residents aren’t buying into the project so easily, however.
Thomas Bohdal visits this park regularly with his family. He’s worried the existing park will lose its trees and that security will be an even bigger issue.
“We have drug problems in this park. We already find syringes from time to time under the trees,” Bohdal said. “How is it going to be when we have underpasses and tunnels [going through the area]?”
While pleased to see the city investing in the area, Bohdal wonders if officials have thoroughly examined the proposal.
He lives on Parthenais Street, but often parks his car on Logan Street. Logan is one of several streets in the neighbourhood the city plans to turn into pedestrian-only roads.
“I think that it’s possible that my street will become more busy, because people will have to use that one instead,” Bohdal said.
Residents are invited to voice their opinion on April 20, between 3 and 9 p.m., at the Cabaret Lion d’Or, located at 1676 Ontario St. E.
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