Montreal's rocky road

Montreal will invest 4.6 million to retype in the fall several blocks east of downtown for the city’s double-header weekend of 15th to 17th of July 2017. The route will circle the Maison Radio-Canada amidst the backdrop of the Jacques Cartier bridge and the new CHUM (Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal).

The Borough of Ville-Marie (city centre) was chosen yesterday at a special meeting, a contract awarded to urban development firm Eurovia to correct defects on the proposed circuit - which are currently in poor condition.

The 4.6 million will come from the arteries rehabilitation program and will be used to make “numerous interventions and adjustments to the current geometry of the road network,” it said in the contract. The streets really need it: the floor has many imperfections, such as cracks and potholes from. Sumps and excess bitumen heads will also be addressed.

“We had to somehow make these road works,” Mayor Denis Coderre stated before the borough council of Ville-Marie, saying they were simply overtaken because of the holding of the race. 4.6 million, 73% will be used to rebuild roadways, while the remaining 27% will redo the sidewalks. Work will run through August until November.

Work will focus in the area bounded by René-Lévesque Boulevard and Papineau avenue Viger and rue Saint-Antoine and Berri. This loop of 2.7 km, which offers a line of just over 1000 meters on René-Lévesque, is thus making the rounds of the Maison Radio-Canada.

The current opposition has some reservations about the project. Counselor Valérie Plante supports the idea having a race, but believes that the project was presented to council somewhat expeditiously.
"I was very upset to have to say on such an important matter without any discussion with elected officials” said Plante.
“The administration tends to act quickly, putting the cart before the oxen, and ends up in front of obstacles and must turn back ".

The city says there is no question of delay, since it would risk losing the right to stage the race, which would centre around festivities for the 375th anniversary of Montreal. A statement added that any postponement “would make it impossible to finalize the preparations for the city’s road network to hold the race with an almost certain rejection of the International Automobile Federation (FIA) to accept the conditions of the track”.

Montreal had estimated the bill at 5.7 million, however the contract will only cost 4.6 million - significantly cheaper than expected, despite only having one compliant tender received. The difference in cost is presumed to be the result in the sharp drop in the cost of steel between the estimate and the tender. Although three companies had submitted a bid, two were dismissed – the first was rejected because its validity was to expire on the 27the of May, while the second had no valid authorization from the AMF since July 10.