$3.8M blow-up tunnel coming to Montreal, aims to mitigate construction woes

The City of Montreal's new plan to help pedestrians and businesses cope with construction on Ste-Catherine Street West includes a $3.8 million inflatable, caterpillar-like structure.

Tunnel will move along with construction on a 2.2-kilometre stretch of Ste-Catherine St.

The tunnel is inflatable and moveable, so it can move along with the construction. (KANVA)

The City of Montreal's new plan to help pedestrians and businesses cope with construction on Ste-Catherine Street West includes a $3.8 million inflatable, caterpillar-like structure.

The big white tube, designed by the architectural firm KANVA, is supposed to make it easier for foot traffic to move around during major construction, thus, hopefully, enticing them to continue shopping on one of the city's most popular commercial streets. 

The tunnel, which the city says is light, can move along with the construction as it continues down Ste-Catherine.

The tunnel is supposed to help shoppers avoid the construction on Ste-Catherine. (KANVA)

Business still worried

The owner of Berti Shoes, Filippo Iachino, has been on Ste-Catherine for 13 years. He's not convinced the giant inflatable tunnel will do much to help his business during construction.

"This particular design, I think, will be a bit mind-boggling," he said. "I think it's too much."

Starting in early 2018, crews will replace the water and sewer pipes over 2.2 kilometres of Ste-Catherine Street West, between de Bleury Street and Atwater Avenue. 

The tunnel will debut during the first phrase of the project, which targets Ste-Catherine between de Bleury and Mansfield streets.

The tunnel, which will following construction down Ste-Catherine Street, is expected to cost $3.8 million. (KANVA)

With files from Simon Nakonechny


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