Quebec government divided over Turcot Interchange plans
The Parti Québécois government is downplaying suggestions it is reconsidering work on one of Montreal's busiest highways due to projected cost overruns.
Some critics in Quebec's National Assembly say the price to rebuild Montreal's Turcot Interchange has more than doubled and could rise even more.
The cost of rebuilding the interchange was first set at around $1.4 billion when it was the plan was introduced in 2007.
The minister responsible for Montreal, Jean-François Lisée, said the government is reviewing the project.
"Our priority is to come to you early next year with decisions and going forward on a number of these issues so that once and for all, we will deal with congestion and move forward," said Lisée.
Transport Minister Sylvain Gaudreault, added that the PQ was "absolutely not" delaying work on the Turcot Interchange, which is scheduled for completion by 2018.
Liberal Party interim leader Jean-Marc Fournier said the work on the Turcot is long overdue, that Quebec's roadway infrastructure has been neglected for years. He said the government should aim to repair it regardless of rising costs.
"At one moment, you've got to do the job, and it is now, it's not in 20 years," said Fournier.
Québec Solidaire member Amir Khadir said his party supports a delay.
"The type of project that has been planned is probably inappropriate, and we think there is something good in delaying," said Khadir.
Coalition Avenir Québec leader François Legault said costs should be reined in before the government gets to work on the Turcot Interchange.
The PQ government said the provincial budget, due to be announced next week, will bring order back to the system.