About a dozen people walked through the St. Jacques Escarpment eco-territory in celebration of the city’s move to save the area, as well as plans to build a pedestrian walkway over the Turcot Interchange.
“We’re celebrating. We’re having a walk and we’re doing a potluck,” Lisa Mintz said.
Mintz is an activist with Sauvons La Falaise, a group advocating for the protection of the escarpment. The group cried foul when they found out the walkway was floated by Transports Quebec due to its estimated $40 million cost.
But in June, the city and the provincial government announced that the pedestrian bridge would be part of the Turcot plans.
The walkway will link the boroughs of LaSalle, Lachine, the Sud-Ouest and Côte-des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-de-Grâce.
“All we need to do is connect west to Meadowbrook and that can be done when the Saint-Pierre interchange is being rebuilt,” Mintz said. “And then we have bike paths to take us to Mount-Royal, we have a green belt for Montreal.”
“This is so self-evident and simple and it doesn’t even cost anything because we’re not asking anybody to buy anything,” Mintz added.
“The infrastructure is being rebuilt right now — this is the time to do it and we can have what Montreal really, really needs.”
Also part of the plan is turning the St. Jacques Escarpment into a “grand park,” which includes adding 30 hectares on the Turcot yards to the green space. “That was the exciting thing that I didn’t even know about,” Mintz said.
The move would protect wetlands and wooded areas, one of the reasons Mintz and her group mobilized.
The City of Montreal is currently conducting public consultations for Montrealers to weigh in on what they want their park to look like.
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The next consultation is taking place October 25 at 7:00 p.m. at the Gadbois recreation complex on 5485 Chemin de la Côte-Saint-Paul.
Work to build the walkway is expected to begin in 2020.
With files from Billy Shields, Rachel Lau, Dan Spector, Elysia Bryan-Baynes and Phil Carpenter.