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Boulevard Pie-IX | Residents want to see the “end of the tunnel”

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The arrival of the rapid bus service (SRB), which will welcome its first passengers this Monday, finally heralds quieter days for citizens and merchants who have already suffered for years from the vagaries of construction sites on Boulevard Pie -IX? Many doubt it. And this, even if more than 267.8 million in municipal works have been invested for ten years on this artery, indicates a compilation carried out by The Press.

“We sometimes see the light at the end of the tunnel, but in the end, the tunnel, it still seems very far to us”, sums up Denise Boismenu, who has been living with the works for years already. A whole segment of boulevard Pie-IX was in full renovation when The Press the encounter. “It started about three years ago, and it will go until November 2023. And after that, there will be the extension of the metro”, she breathes, sometimes admitting to herself “discouraged” by the noise, dust and “constant” difficulties.

In the street, the work sections are moving, but the obstacles are still present, observes the resident. “Initially, they started at the Olympic Stadium, they went down quietly. We’ve been in there for years. I’m disgusted, to be quite honest, ”says the one who has lived on Pie-IX for 40 years now.

“That’s a lot of frustration on a daily basis, a lot of irritants that accumulate, let’s say. Above all, we would like it to be better coordinated, that we are sometimes given a little oxygen, ”adds the Montrealer.

Less visibility for businesses

A few blocks further, the owner of the Allô mon coco restaurant, Rose Kodeih, does not hide her strong frustrations either. “We have less visibility. Even our most loyal customers have to make big detours, and sometimes can’t even get here,” she says.

The most frustrating thing, adds this merchant who opened her doors in March 2020, is that her business was not entitled to financial compensation from the City.


PHOTO ROBERT SKINNER, THE PRESS

Rose Kodeih, the owner of the Allô mon coco restaurant

“The work had already started when we opened, and their rule is that it is absolutely necessary that the work has started while we are open to obtain financial assistance. It’s quite deplorable to be so “by the book” in such a context, as we emerge from the pandemic, ”laughs M.me Kodeih.

My employees and I have worked like mad to survive in the past few months.

Rose Kodeih, owner and trader

She nevertheless hopes that the arrival of the SRB Pie-IX, which must be “gradually” put into service this Monday after years of work, will change things. “We are already planning to put advertisements along the route to see if there will be any impacts. Our hope is that there will be more traffic in the area, and therefore more customers, and that the work will also gradually fade,” continues the owner.

“It’s all very annoying, and we especially hope that they will finish in time. In the meantime, we have to take our troubles patiently, ”summarizes Estelle, another resident crossed on the sidewalk. “We learned to live like that, while waiting for better. When there is an SRB, a new metro, streets in good condition, it will do a lot of good,” she adds.

267 million in ten years

Since 2011-2012, $267.8 million in municipal works have been carried out along Pie-IX Boulevard, which crosses several boroughs from north to south in the east of the city. This is shown by data obtained by The Press with the City of Montreal, which lists all the work sites that have taken place on this thoroughfare.

The most expensive contracts are almost all associated, unsurprisingly, with the construction of the SRB Pie-IX. The south lot of the project, between Bélair and Sherbrooke streets, notably cost the Plante administration more than $65 million. In the north, the City spent more than 48 million to build the section located between rue d’Amos and boulevard des Grandes-Prairies, then in the center, between boulevard des Grandes-Prairies and rue Everett, it is about 52 million.


PHOTO ROBERT SKINNER, THE PRESS

A station of the SRB Pie-IX

However, these figures do not include “projects carried out by third parties, which are generally minor obstacles, with the exception of the repair of the Pie-IX bridge by the Ministère des Transports du Québec (MTQ)”, specified a spokesperson. word of the City, Hugo Bourgouin.

Initially set at around $300 million, the SRB Pie-IX budget has experienced several cost overruns in recent years, including the cost of adding a section up to Notre-Dame Street East (which been put on hiatus for the time being, as reported Le Journal de Montreal). The cost of the project has risen to more than 650 million. Officially, its total budget is currently 523 million.

Learn more

  • 17
    Once fully in service, the SRB Pie-IX will have 17 stations and 38 “SRB shelters” that will be available along the route. These are heated and modern shelters, placed between the oncoming traffic lanes.

    SOURCE: Montreal transportation company



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