Transport Canada, the City of Montreal, and the Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated (JCCBI) announced the reconfiguration of the Bonaventure Expressway into a boulevard starting in 2025.

The traffic lanes of the new boulevard will be moved away from the shoreline to create a green corridor along the St. Lawrence River, which includes two dedicated active mobility paths. The reconfiguration aims at addressing the changing uses particularly in terms of traffic flow, the transport of goods, and active mobility, in addition to significantly improve in the living environment for the community. The overall budget of the Bonaventure project is $282 million.

Built in 1966, the non-elevated lanes of the federal section of the Bonaventure Expressway are at the end of their service life and must be rebuilt. This project aims at maintaining the three-lane capacity in both directions with a 2+1 configuration and dynamic management of the third lane. With 20 million trips a year, this essential freight transportation corridor to the Port of Montreal will also better meet the needs of the community by promoting effective and safe mobility for all users in keeping with a vision of sustainable development.

“Investing in our infrastructure doesn’t mean pouring money into concrete, it means investing in the well-being of Canadians. Like Montrealers who, thanks to the reconfiguration of the Bonaventure Expressway, will have access to another green space where they can exercise, get together and admire the St Lawrence River. We continue to deliver for Quebecers through investments that will make a real difference to their day-to-day lives,” said Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Transport.

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From left to right: Mrs. Valérie Plante, Montreal Mayor, The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Transport and Quebec Lieutenant and Mrs. Sandra Martel, CEO of The Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated (JCCBI), at the announcement that the Bonaventure Expressway will be reconfigured into a boulevard. (JCCBI)

“This signature project will finally reconnect the metropolis to the St. Lawrence River! Transforming a highway to bring it into the 21st century is a major project that doesn’t come around often and we seized the opportunity to ensure safe travel for all users. This new gateway to the city will directly contribute to Montreal’s attractiveness and the quality of life of residents of the area for generations to come. This is the result of a great collaboration with various partners, with whom the City of Montreal was able to fully share its expertise and its audacity,” explained Valérie Plante, Mayor of Montreal.

“We are delighted with this announcement, which caps off many years of work. The Bonaventure project is in line with our mission which focuses on user mobility, safety, and infrastructure longevity, based on a sustainable development approach. This includes adding active mobility paths as will be done on the new boulevard which will have the capacity to meet current peak needs and the flexibility to address future needs for the next decades,” said Sandra Martel, CEO, JCCBI.

Green corridor and 2.5-km active mobility paths

The traffic lanes on the new boulevard will be moved away from the shoreline thus overlapping with Carrie-Derick Street which will be eliminated, thus reducing the road footprint and heat islands by 40%. Moreover, a space along the river will be freed up where a green corridor with two dedicated active mobility paths will be built. A nearly 2.5-km pedestrian promenade and a multipurpose path will connect with existing paths in the area.

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Greening plans

The area will also be greened by planting 650 trees, 18,000 shrubs, and 13,000 perennials and creating landscaping features that will protect biodiversity and reduce heat islands. The public will have closer access to the river, and the entire corridor between the Samuel-De Champlain Bridge and the Victoria Bridge will be beautified and greened.

Better protect the St. Lawrence River

JCCBI will continue to address the environmental issues in the sector. The Corporation plans to include biodiversity protection and soil management measures, among other things, in addition to maintaining, even improve its Solution Bonaventure project, which has been protecting the St. Lawrence since 2016 by containing and treating contaminated groundwater.

Impacts on mobility

The current 70 km/h speed will be reduced to 50 km/h, and traffic lights will be added, all contributing to ensuring safe movements of people between Pointe-Sainte-Charles industrial park and the green corridor. Essentially, the work will take place from 2025 to 2029 and, during this time, two traffic lanes will be maintained in both directions.

Featured image: Rendering – aerial view of the upcoming urban boulevard. (JCCBI)

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