Quebec Minister of Transport meets with local mayors
PHOTO BY JAMES ARMSTRONG
Ministère des Transports, de la Mobilité durable et d’Électrification (MTMDET) André Fortin (second from right) and Soulanges MNA Lucie Charlebois (second from left) met with Vaudreuil-Dorion Mayor Guy Pilon (right) and Saint Lazare Mayor Robert Grimaudo (left) to discuss solutions related to the construction of the new hospital.
In a closed-door meeting held in Vaudreuil-Dorion Monday, February 19, Ministère des Transports, de la Mobilité durable et d’Électrification (MTMDET) André Fortin accompanied by Soulanges MNA Lucie Charlebois discussed local infrastructure issues with Vaudreuil-Dorion Mayor Guy Pilon and Saint Lazare Mayor Robert Grimaudo. Due to a previous commitment, Marie-Claude Nichols was not available for the press conference.
Current traffic situation
“We were looking at a lot of issues, including traffic congestion, ” said Fortin during a press conference following the meeting. He said the discussion included possible short and long-term solutions to current traffic congestion problems for an important transportation corridor between Montreal and Toronto.
Development of hospital project
“We also looked at infrastructure around Vaudreuil-Dorion and Saint Lazare in relation to the development of the new hospital,” said Charlebois. “It involves many government ministries and we have to coordinate our activities,” she added.
Providing potable water and wastewater treatment infrastructure will involve the Town of Vaudreuil-Dorion. “We will need two to three years to prepare for that,” said Pilon noting that connecting the proposed hospital involves coordination with other governmental ministries.
Traffic congestion solutions
“We showed the minister various options for dealing with traffic congestion,” said Grimaudo after the press conference. He pointed out that Highway 20 becomes an urban boulevard in its passage eastbound through Vaudreuil-Dorion to the Galipeault Bridge that connects to the western tip of the Island of Montreal. He noted that an alternate solution has been possible for 30 years as local mayors have been advocating for the completion of the Highway 20 project at a provincial level.
“A narrow strip of land north of the boulevard was expropriated over 30 years ago for the purpose of Highway 20,” said Grimaudo. “It’s simply a question of the Québec government saying ‘Let’s do Highway 20 the way it’s supposed to be.’”
PHOTO BY CARMEN MARIE FABIO
Continued traffic snares on the Île aux Tourtes Bridge are trying the patience of Vaudreuil-Soulanges residents.
As for the Île aux Tourtes Bridge that carries Highway 40 between Vaudreuil-Dorion and Senneville, Grimaudo said the goal was to get plans for a replacement bridge into the Quebec government’s five-year plan. “The Île aux Tourtes Bridge is on borrowed time. What will probably happen will be something similar to the Champlain Bridge project where the new bridge is being built parallel to the old one,” said Grimaudo.
Minister Fortin, however, said there were no immediate plans for a new bridge or electric train service to the Vaudreuil-Soulanges area and simply said improvements to current train service were being carried out and ongoing maintenance and repairs were being done to the bridge.
Access to hospital
“We also looked at the possibility of (another) access to Cité-des-Jeunes (Route 340 in Vaudreuil-Dorion) once there is a hospital,” said Grimaudo adding that existing entrance and exit ramps are not adequate to handle the projected increase in traffic.
“It was a good reaction,” said Grimaudo when asked how the minister had responded to the various proposed solutions. “With this particular minister, there’s an openness to look at options, think outside the box, and move forward.”