REM announces changes to proposed mitigation measures in the Town of Mount Royal

REM meeting in the Town of Mount-Royal. Tuesday October 29th, 2019. Global News

The Réseau express métropolitain (REM) says it will delay the demolition of the Cornwall bridge in the Town of Mount Royal until April 2020.

The REM announced the new measure during a neighbourhood meeting Tuesday night.

CDPQ Infra has also promised to open the Lazard and Jasper avenues level crossing for emergency vehicles when needed.

A temporary elevated pedestrian walkway will also be installed between Lazard and Jasper avenues in the Town centre to facilitate and secure pedestrian traffic.

The changes follow requests from residents who were worried about the proposed simultaneous shutdown of both the Jean-Talon and Cornwall bridges — two east-west routes that are usually highly congested.

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People are expecting commuter chaos in January when the Mount Royal tunnel will be shut down completely.

Residents argued these two closures combined would cause traffic chaos and even put people’s lives at danger.

Town of Mount Royal resident Peter Malouf spearheaded a petition to the REM and the town to intervene and adapt their proposed mitigation measures.

Malouf says he welcomes the changes but says more needs to be done.

“We haven’t had a traffic impact study that we’ve seen,” Malouf said.

“We want to know and not only for the centre of the Town of Mount Royal, but what impact it will have in all of the Town of Mount Royal because traffic could be backed up in many arteries.”

REM spokesperson Emmanuelle Rouillard-Moreau told Global News they will be conducting a traffic study soon and will present a summary to residents during another one of their meetings.

“It’s a constant discussion between the residents and the Town of Mount Royal and the REM project office and there is still progress to be made,” Rouillard-Moreau said.

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Click to play video: 'Making the most of the REM in TMR'
Making the most of the REM in TMR

The town’s council was in talks with REM officials trying to negotiate better traffic measures.

In a statement on the town’s page, Mayor Philippe Roy called the move good news.

“We know that the public is apprehensive about the upcoming work in our Town centre. These new measures will somewhat improve Mount Royal’s situation, and many residents will be relieved to learn about these advances in our talks with REM officials,” Roy wrote.

“Recently, several people have signed an online petition in support for such adjustments to the project, which unarguably validates our efforts and results.”

The Jean-Talon bridge will be demolished as scheduled.

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