January 30, 2018 4:02 pm

Lac-Megantic bypass could be completed before summer

Smoke rises from railway cars that were carrying crude oil after derailing in downtown Lac-Megantic, Que., on July 6, 2013. The dangers of transporting hazardous goods by train were highlighted in tragic fashion four years ago, when an oil-laden runaway train derailed and crashed in the centre of Lac-Megantic, Que., killing 47 people.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
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An important bypass could be built in Lac-Mégantic before this summer, something residents have been calling for since the July 2013 tragedy in which 47 people were killed.

READ MORE: Ottawa confirms financing for Lac-Mégantic bypass rail line

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Last week the federal government said it would pay for a large part of the construction of the new bypass, which would re-route trains away from the downtown core.

On Tuesday, Quebec Transport Minister André Fortin said his federal counterpart, Marc Garneau, told him he would like the construction to be finished by July 2018. That would mark the fifth anniversary of the train explosion.

READ MORE: Lac-Megantic trial: 3 men found not guilty of criminal negligence in train derailment that killed 47 people

Fortin said that he wants the project to happen sooner, and said that the federal government should pay for most of it.

“There’s no specific number at this point. We just believe that it is a project that is a federal jurisdiction, that they should be the majority partner around the table. But at the same time, really our main hope is to get this done quickly so the people of Lac-Mégantic can have a solution in front of them,” Fortin said.

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