Highway 19 extension

The federal government is funding the extension of Highway 19 that has been discussed for decades.

Infrastructure Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said that the federal government will spend $345 million on widening the road and adding dedicated bus lanes between Montreal and Bois des Filion.

The first expenditure will be $260 million on doing what has been discussed since the 1970s: turning the entire stretch between St. Martin Blvd. in Laval and Highway 640 in Bois des Filion into a highway.

Another $85 million will be spent renovating the Pie IX bridge and adding lanes between Montreal and Laval.

Champagne said the goal is to reduce the amount of time drivers spend stuck in slow traffic.

“The second part of what we’re announcing is obviously the refurbishment of the Pie IX bridge which will have six lanes, so four going from Laval to Montreal, two from Montreal to Laval,” said Champagne.

He expected the addition would reduce peak time slowdowns and travel from 21 minutes to 7 minutes.

The widened bridge will come with a concrete deck which will last longer than asphalt. It will also feature a sidewalk on the west side and a bicycle/pedestrian path on the east side.

Like other highway and bridge projects, there will be dedicated lanes for electric cars, public transit, and high-occupancy vehicles.

“In each direction we will have one dedicated lane for the express bus, for electric vehicles, and for car sharing, because at the same time we want to address with this historic announcement the issue with congestion in Montreal, we also want to invest in green infrastructure making sure that active transportation is part of our objectives,” said Champagne.

Champagne cited studies that show communities and people are at an economic disadvantage when commuters spend too much time commuting. He said building roads is a great way to attract investment and increase opportunities in the region.

He said the investments will improve the lives of tens of thousands of people.

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