Montreal should adjust plans for the Bonaventure Expressway to account for current housing demands in the downtown area, recommends a public consultation agency.

The city's plan to refurbish the Bonaventure as an urban boulevard with commercial and residential development was welcomed with caution by the agency, which oversaw public consultations on the project.

"There is little demand for new downtown-type projects in Montreal," said the Office de consultation publique de Montréal, in its report released on Wednesday. "There are already too many sites earmarked for development, downtown and in the international quarter (quartier international.)"

The agency also warned that air and sound pollution may be ongoing issues even if the expressway is refurbished. Several community groups that took part in the consultations raised pollution concerns.

More than 700 people participated in the public hearings, and fifty-nine groups submitted briefs to the consultation agency.

The agency recommends transforming Bonaventure into an "urban artery" between Saint-Jacques and Brennan Sts. and building up a neighbourhood around it.

It also recommends:

  • A dedicated public transit lane to accommodate buses from eastern suburbs.
  • A new budget that takes into account the cost of acquiring Canadian National land and decontamination.

Plans for the Bonaventure are connected to other renovation projects including the Turcot Interchange and the Champlain Bridge. All three plans should be harmonized, the agency said.