Nichols calls on province to begin work on Highway 20 by-pass in Vaudreuil-Dorion
By John Jantak
PHOTO BY CARMEN MARIE FABIO
The amount of traffic on Harwood Boulevard through Vaudreuil-Dorion continues to climb in relation to the region’s population growth and area politicians are ramping up pressure on the provincial government to finally begin the Highway 20 project that would allow for exits and off ramps rather than the existing series of traffic lights.
Vaudreuil Liberal MNA Marie-Claude Nichols is calling on the provincial CAQ government to finally start work on the Highway 20 by-pass through Vaudreuil-Dorion that would help to ease traffic congestion on Boulevard Harwood when completed.
Nichols’ request was detailed in a press release issued from her National Assembly office in Quebec City on November 30. She stated the current economic situation in the province has been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the long-awaited project to build the by-pass would help to stimulate the local economy if the province would proceed with the project.
Resolving important safety issues
“The Highway 20 by-pass would resolve important safety issues and improve the peace of mind of residents without having an impact on the environment and without the expropriation of land. This project would employ local people who are in great need of work. This is the project our region needs to boost its local economy,” said Nichols.
“The route has been determined and the plans are ready. All that’s missing is approval from provincial Transport Minister François Bonnardel. I therefore ask him to leave political partisanship aside and quickly give his approval to proceed with this promising project,” Nichols added.
The construction of a by-pass would also allow the city of Vaudreuil-Dorion to properly move ahead with its plans to rejuvenate the boulevard by transforming Harwood into a quiet urban oasis without constant traffic when the project is eventually completed.
PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK
Vaudreuil MNA Marie-Claude Nichols is calling on the provincial CAQ government to begin construction of the much anticipated Highway 20 by-pass through Vaudreuil-Dorion which would help to significantly reduce vehicle traffic on Boulevard Harwood and bring economic relief to the region.
Nichols had already proposed in December, 2019 that the completion of Highway 20 project be conducted in two phases beginning with the by-pass slated for Vaudreuil-Dorion because the land has already been expropriated.
The second phase would involve transforming the stretch of Highway 20 that runs through Île-Perrot from its present status as an urban boulevard with traffic lights at major intersections to a proper autoroute complete with on-ramps and exit ramps that would allow for unimpeded traffic flow through the island.
Positive benefits for area residents
Nichols noted that Vaudreuil-Dorion Mayor Guy Pilon sent a long letter to Quebec Premier François Legault last July explaining the major positive benefits a completed by-pass would have for current and future residents in the area. Pilon said he doesn’t understand why this proposal was excluded from a list of projects aimed at bolstering the economic recovery in the Montérégie region.
“Unfortunately, François Legault’s government does not seem to have accepted the project demanded by local elected officials. The choice of projects seems to be more of a political instrument than a development tool for this government. During this time of crisis, I urge the government to reconsider its electoral priorities and support our workers,” said Nichols.
44,000 vehicles per day
An estimated 44,000 vehicles travel along Harwood every day, 4000 of which are heavy vehicles which is having a detrimental effect on the city’s plans to rejuvenate the district. Nichols noted that the Vaudreuil county is the only area in Quebec where a highway turns into an urban boulevard with traffic lights before it becomes a highway again.
Nichols also said the current configuration of Harwood causes significant safety issues, especially near the Sûreté du Québec police detachment where several accidents occur each year.