During his first official visit to Lac-Mégantic as Canada’s Minister of Transport, Pablo Rodriguez announced progress on the Lac-Mégantic Rail Bypass project, including the signing of two essential agreements to launch the first calls for tender.
“My heart goes out to the citizens of Lac-Mégantic. I strongly believe in the importance of the bypass project. This is a project like no other and trains must leave downtown. As the new Minister of Transport, I am committed to doing everything possible to achieve this goal as soon as possible,” said Rodriguez.
A contribution agreement was signed between the federal government and the City of Lac-Mégantic. This will allow the city to carry out preparatory work for the construction of the bypass, which includes the reconstruction of city-owned municipal infrastructure and its relocation to the industrial park. The City of Lac-Mégantic will oversee planning and implementation of the work.
“Lac-Mégantic was affected by the worst rail tragedy in the country. Every day, we continue to hear and see the train running in our downtown core, and it has to stop. Having obtained the necessary authorizations and commitments to proceed last week, we can confirm that on Wednesday we launched the call for tender that will allow us to begin preparatory work on our municipal infrastructures in the industrial park. This is a concrete step towards the realization of a project that has been 10 years in the making,” said Julie Morin, Mayor of Lac-Mégantic.
The Government of Canada also signed a contribution agreement with Central Maine & Quebec Railway Inc. (CMQR), a subsidiary of Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC), for the construction of the bypass project. The agreement outlines the terms and fundamental principles under which the railway operator will carry out the project. It will also enable the launch of the tendering process to contract a firm to carry out the work.
“Construction of the bypass must be completed as quickly as possible. As soon as I became a Member of the National Assembly, I worked to bring rail service to the Lac-Mégantic industrial park, and I will continue to defend the interests of the people of Lac-Mégantic. I welcome this important milestone in the project’s realization,” said François Jacques, Member of the National Assembly for Mégantic.
During his visit, the Minister also met with the mayors of Frontenac and Nantes municipalities, as well as the mayor of the City of Lac-Mégantic, to discuss the importance of the project for the residents of the region.
Featured image: (Government of Canada)