• Carmen Marie Fabio

Saying ‘so long’ to Ste. Anne’s spent structures

PHOTO BY CARMEN MARIE FABIO

It took four years, countless meetings, a few petitions, and a new mayor to finally move the Ste. Anne de Bellevue overpass debacle forward and, as of the morning of June 16, the first of two long unused overpasses at Exit 41 on Highway 40 westbound were demolished.

“The very first thing I did as mayor was to mandate a study to see what the actual cost would be to repair the overpasses or to demolish them and build a T-intersection,” said Mayor Paola Hawa, elected in November 2013.

“I wanted to make sure whatever decision we took was based on numbers and logic.” Hawa said the study also analyzed the affects any road changes would have on area traffic. “The T-intersection came in at slightly reduced circulation efficiency but less expensive in the long run than the overpasses that, with regular maintenance, would have lasted maybe another ten years.”

The total cost for the project is about $3.1 million of which Ste. Anne’s portion is approximately $1.5 million, including the demolition, and Hawa said the project is currently on time and on budget. The Ministère des Transports du Québec (MTQ) is footing the balance. The 50-year-old overpasses were closed following an engineering inspection that reportedly questioned their structural integrity. Motorists who had previously relied on the exit to access Boulevard des Anciens Combattants were forced to take a later exit and double back until the town built a temporary road late last summer allowing Exit 41 to reopen.

The remaining overpass is scheduled to come down Monday, June 22, and the entire project, including T-intersection and traffic lights, is expected to be completed this fall.

For more photos and a video of part of the demolition, see our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/YourLocalJournalVS.

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