The Quebec government announced Thursday that a tunnel will be built to link Quebec City and Lévis.
The infrastructure will not serve neighbouring Île d’Orléans, but the government said in a statement that work will continue on a new cable-stayed bridge for the area.
The tunnel emerged as the best option following the results of various studies, including a multi-criteria analysis which looked at several factors like transport, traffic, the environment and the economy.
The preferred corridor for the new tunnel is in the extension of the Félix-Leclerc Highway (Highway 40), on the north side, to join the Jean-Lesage Highway (Highway 20) in the Lallemand Road sector in Lévis.
The Transport Ministry launched a call for tenders Thursday to conduct an environmental impact study and other studies. The province is aiming to break ground on the project no later than October 2022.
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Transport Minister François Bonnardel explained in a statement that the tunnel option “avoids increasing traffic on Île d’Orléans, does not affect the navigation of the seaway and (…) does not cause any delay for the commissioning of a new bridge for Île d’Orléans.”
The approximate length of the route is nine kilometers, including tunnel approaches. The estimated project costs have not yet been announced.
— With files from Global News’ Kalina Laframboise