Quebec Heatlh Minister Christian Dubé announced Monday the beginning of groundwork on the site of the future Vaudreuil-Soulanges hospital in the Montérégie.
Dubé made the announcement in company of Justice Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette, who is also the minister for the region, and Soulanges MNA Marilyne Picard.
The preparatory work includes the relocation of the Belle Plage stream, the decontamination of land on the site of an old service station, the demolition of a barn and the construction of temporary access roads and rain retention ponds.
Dubé said the preliminary work represents a $10,6-million investment.
Work will also be carried out by the City of Vaudreuil-Dorion to accommodate traffic generated by the site, as requested by the Société québécoise des infrastructures (SQI) who is managing the project, and Quebec’s transport ministry.
The traffic calming measures include the widening of the Highway 30 access ramp, straightening de la petite rivière Road at the intersection of Cité-des-Jeunes Boulevard and the addition of traffic lights on Harwood Road.
Picard said excavation will be done by a local company adding to the project’s economic benefits in the region.
Actual construction on the 404-bed hospital, to be located at 2140 Cité-des-Jeunes Blvd in Vaudreuil-Dorion, is expected to begin in 2022 with a delivery date in 2026 and an estimated price tag of $1.7 billion.
Jolin-Barrette said the long-awaited project is not a luxury but a necessity in the region.
“This is the first hospital in more than 30 years to count a net addition of beds on the territory of the Cisss De La Montérégie-Ouest,” he said, adding that on top of the 404-bed capacity, the ER will have a capacity of 41 stretchers.
“We know how important health is, we’ve seen it over the last year and a half with the pandemic. It’s necessary to have 21st century infrastructure and to have a modern hospital.”
Vaudreuil-Dorion Mayor Guy Pilon agreed the need is great for a hospital close to home.
“Since three, four years people were going more and more in Ontario,” Pilon said, explaining that regional hospitals like the Lakeshore in Pointe-Claire and Valleyfield aren’t able to keep up with the demand.
“I think the hospital in Hawkesbury they invest two or three million in their hospital to receive us,” Pilon said. “Finally we will have a hospital on our territory…I’m very happy.”
The new hospital will serve a population of roughly 160,000, according to Pilon.
— With files from Global News’ Gloria Henriquez