If it were easy to rethink the configuration of the bridgehead to make traffic more fluid, the file would already be settled, argued Transport Minister Laurent Lessard on Friday.
“The redevelopment of the bridgehead, if it was so simple, they [his predecessors] would have done before me. It is something that is not simple. Two bridges, it necessarily leads to highways, worse physical constraints, worse owners, worse railways, worse hotels. We go into buildings, so the desirable developments are perhaps more difficult. If not, they would not have waited six years that I arrived, and I rule what, “responded Friday, Minister Lessard, saying to understand the” frustration “of the mayor of Quebec City.
The two men spoke at the closing dinner of the Quebec Association of Road Manufacturers and Major Works, after a week of media ping-pong on regional transport files.
Regis Labeaume can no longer wait for the study on the head of the bridges. Work on the reconfiguration of the exchangers in the northern sector of the Quebec and Pierre-Laporte bridges was launched in 2011 by the Liberal government. Six years and as many Transport Ministers later, the results are still unknown to the public.
Mayor Labeaume, who has seen a first set of conclusions, says that the rare changes proposed were only to improve safety, not fluidity. For several months now, and particularly this week, he is putting pressure on the Department of Transport to ensure that the work is better done and communicated.
Complementary studies and SRB
Shortly after his appointment, Minister Lessard indicated that additional studies were under way, including the necessary accommodations for rapid bus service.
On Friday, the politician also pointed to irritants, such as the access ramps at Boulevard Champlain, which were too close, the underutilization of boulevard Hochelaga and the first light on boulevard Laurier at the end of the bridges, a regular source of corks.
“We will try to activate our work to arrive with a result more concrete and especially presentable to the population,” assured Minister Lessard Friday, while refusing to give a timetable.
The member for Lotbiniere-Frontenac also refused to associate the bridgehead file with that of the third road link claimed between the two banks, as did Mayor Labeaume. According to the latter, the construction of a new bridge or tunnel could wait if modifications to the existing road network make it possible to increase the road capacity on both sides of the bridges.
The MTQ will unveil the “extras”
The Ministere des Transports du Quebec (MTQ) will publish on Monday its website the list of contracts that generated “extras” with the justification of cost overruns. Minister Laurent Lessard made the announcement before a group of construction contractors gathered in congresses in Quebec City. His predecessor, Robert Poeti, had said much the same thing two years ago, but Mr. Lessard’s cabinet insists that this time will be the right one, because the information will be presented so as to be easily understood by the citizens. The Minister also announced that road programming will now be unveiled simultaneously in all regions of Quebec, in late February or early March. The company had-like striptease recent years while ministers and MPs of the ruling party summoned the press to turn in each region. Deferred shipyards will also be announced as they become more predictable.