During the June 2 public meeting of Laval city council, the council members gave the go-ahead for a $25 million expenditure to carry out work for the construction of a new highway interchange overpass on Autoroute 440 in the district of Val-des-Brises.
Since the structure will be passing over a provincial highway, the work and its supervision will be done by the Quebec Ministry of Transport and its appointed sub-contractors. As such, the City of Laval has authorized the MTQ to proceed with the awarding of the contract as manager of the project.
Two years work
Once the contract is signed, according to the city, work on the new interchange over Autoroute 440, between Autoroute 19 and Pie-IX Blvd., will be able to start, probably this summer, and will take place over the next two years.
The work will include the construction of the new overpass, as well as the realigning of nearby streets and ramps to and from the A-440 East. When it’s completed, Robert Bourassa Blvd. will join up with Gaumont St. via the new Michel-Ange Blvd.
“This is great news, especially for the people of the Val-des-Brises sector,” said Val-des-Brises city councillor Christiane Yoakim. “In addition to allowing them to travel about more easily, they will see traffic in their area diminish. As well, this link will facilitate transit on foot and on bicycles from either side of the autoroute, which is positive for the development of active transportation on the island.”
Work on Ave. des Bois
During the same council meeting, the council members also approved a contract for the creation of preferential bus measures on Avenue des Bois in Laval-Ouest, on part of Autoroute 440 and on Chomedey Blvd. The work, which is scheduled to begin this month, is to be done by Roxboro Excavation.
The contractor has been mandated to carry out the following steps:
Preferential measures for buses on the road shoulder;
Priority measures for traffic lights;
Geometrical modifications at intersections;
Modifications to traffic lights;
Creation of a temporary incentive parking lot (around 500 spaces);
Redevelopment of urban infrastructure (street lighting, roadway structure, surface drainage, bicycle path, landscaping, etc.);
Appropriate attenuation measures for natural surroundings in conformity with recommendations by the Quebec Ministry of the Environment;
Planting of trees and shrubs in work areas, with the exception of agricultural lands, and restoration to its original state of a nature trail that passes through the area.
“I am extremely pleased that the attenuation measures which were asked for during the construction of the Réseau express métropolitain (REM) are taking shape,” said Nicholas Borne, member of the executive-committee responsible for transit dossiers and councillor for Laval-les-Îles. “When finished, it will most certainly be an attractive solution for replacing the automobile.”
It should be recalled that in February, the City of Laval announced that it had been mandated by the Autorité régionale de transport métropolitain (ARTM) to ensure the planning and realization of infrastructures needed for the implementation of preferential measures for buses (MPB) on a trajectory that included Avenue des Bois.
Laval adopts new measures for threatened wetlands
The City of Laval’s executive-committee also recently recommended to city council that it adopt an important new by-law aimed at protecting and conserving key wetlands located osn Laval’s territory. The new regulations would add 1,062 hectares of wetlands to those already recognized by the city.
Having seen several large wetlands on its territory disappear over the last few years, the city was determined to preserve its remaining wetlands, while becoming one of the first large cities in Quebec to take this approach.
A leadership role
“It is Laval’s hope to take on a new role as a leader when it comes to protecting wetlands,” says Laval city councillor for Sainte-Rose Virginie Dufour, who sits on the executive-committee with responsibilities for environmental issues. “This ambitious project will allow the city to raise by 12 per cent the amount of natural areas protected by by-laws and regulations on the territory, bringing us closer the level of 14 per cent protection.”
In order to define wetlands of interest to be conserved, the city developed a matrix with criteria to be developed. It took into account several factors, including ecological value, perenity, diversity, ecological services, adaptation to climate changes, distribution of wetlands on the territory and planning.
‘Urban by nature’
Recognizing the undeniable ecological importance of wetlands and the necessity of ensuring their conservation, Laval undertook a regional plan for wetlands and humid areas, with the theme of its guiding vision (Urban by nature) as the guiding principle. This aspect defines the City of Laval’s overall orientations for future development.
“Congratulations to the City of Laval for its colossal work identifying the wetlands of interest on its territory,” said Guy Garand, executive-director of the Conseil régional de l’environnement de Laval. “The CRE de Laval is proud to have contributed.”