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Quebec City’s proposed third link tunnel to cost $7B, take 10 years to build

Quebec Premier François Legault walks to the podium to announce the new public transportation network, including a tramway and a tunnel to connect Lévis to Quebec City, Monday, May 17, 2021 in Quebec City. Quebec Deputy premier and Public Security Minister Geneviève Guilbault, sitting, is all smiles. Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press

A tunnel to be built under the St. Lawrence River connecting Quebec City and Levis, Que., will cost $7 billion, take 10 years to complete and will transform the capital, Premier François Legault said Monday.

The tunnel was a major campaign promise for Legault’s Coalition Avenir Québec, which enjoys strong support in the provincial capital and promised to begin the project within its first mandate.

“We’re delivering the goods,” Legault boasted to reporters after announcing details of the project, on which construction is scheduled to begin in 2022 — the same year as the next provincial election.

“We have fulfilled our promise,” Legault added.

Read more: New tunnel will serve as third link between Quebec City and Lévis

Legault said the final price tag could rise by as much as 35 per cent when borrowing and other unexpected construction-related costs are factored in.

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The 8.3-kilometre tunnel will have a lane dedicated for electric buses and will become the third road link connecting Quebec City to the south shore.

Its diameter will be 19.4 metres, traffic will be distributed on two levels and it’s expected 50,000 cars will use the tunnel per day.

Click to play video: 'CAQ and Quebec City building bridges' CAQ and Quebec City building bridges
CAQ and Quebec City building bridges – Nov 16, 2018

The tunnel is the second major project announced this year by Legault for the provincial capital, following a $3.3-billion, 20-kilometre tramway system that is expected to be completed in 2027.

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