• John Jantak

Proposed Morgan Boulevard extension in Baie D’Urfé could take years before work begins

JOHN JANTAK

Baie D’Urfé Mayor Marie Tutino said even though the town would like to see Morgan Boulevard extended to connect to its industrial park, it could take several years before the provincial Ministry of Transport would proceed with the project.

While the Town of Baie D’Urfé would like to see Morgan Boulevard extended north to connect with the town’s industrial park, Mayor Maria Tutino said it could take several more years before the provincial Ministry of Transport (MTQ) proceeds with the project.

The issue of the possible extension was raised by a resident who asked what council’s position was during the Tuesday evening council meeting, February 10. Tutino said council’s position remains the same and did not elaborate further, stating that the issue was already addressed at previous sessions.

“It has been discussed by several councils now,” Tutino told Your Local Journal in a telephone interview. “We recently reiterated our position regarding the Highway 20-Morgan Boulevard interchange by stating we would approve the extension only if certain provisions from the town were adopted by the MTQ.”

Tutino said based on recommendations made by the MTQ eight years ago, the town’s planning and advisory committee conducted an extensive review of the project in 2007. It determined that the project could proceed only if certain provisions were accepted by the MTQ that were also adopted by council.

“The provisions require direct access be provided to and from John Abbott College and the McGill University MacDonald Campus both eastbound and westbound, and that these accesses be developed simultaneously when the Morgan Boulevard-Highway 20 is restructured. The other condition would be that the MTQ would assume the total cost of the project,” said Tutino.

Eight years later, Tutino said the MTQ is proceeding with other priorities and the Morgan Boulevard extension has been placed on the back burner. “In discussions with the MTQ, they indicated there is no money at the provincial level to proceed with the restructuring and we don’t expect it to be on their agenda for a very, very long time,” said Tutino.

She said the opportune time to have done the extension was about 20 years ago when a portion of Highway 20 on the West Island was still an urban boulevard with intersections and traffic lights at Morgan Boulevard and Woodland Avenue in Beaconsfield.

Numerous deaths from traffic accidents at both intersections at the time prompted the provincial government to revamp Highway 20 with an underpass on Morgan Boulevard and an overpass on Woodland Avenue that could be accessed via new entrance ramps built to replace the traffic lights and intersections.

Tutino said the underpass configuration on Morgan was designed specifically to allow for the extension of the boulevard into the town’s industrial sector north of Highway 20. At the time, the council of Baie D’Urfé was ambivalent about the Morgan Boulevard extension and decided to address the issue in the future.

Twenty years later, Tutino touts the benefits of the extension which would enable residents to easily access the industrial park instead of having to make a long detour onto Highway 40. It would also enable the town’s fire department to quickly respond to emergency situations. She said she also realizes that the extension could negatively impact the town through spillover traffic that would continue along Morgan Boulevard past Highway 40 onto Lakeshore Road to access John Abbott College and McGill University MacDonald Campus.

“That’s why the town asked for the provision to have a direct access road built that would lead to both educational institutions,” said Tutino. “I don’t see any work being done to Morgan Boulevard during my current mandate as mayor, and for many years after that,” said Tutino.

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