Downtown Lac-Mégantic officially reopens 3 years after deadly train explosion
Residents access downtown core again, on same day DOT-111 cars banned from transporting oil
The downtown core of Lac-Mégantic, Que., is officially reopen.
Residents can now drive, walk or bike through the area for the first time since a deadly train explosion destroyed the town's core and killed 47 people.
- Lac-Mégantic coroner says 47 deaths were 'violent, avoidable'
- Lac-Mégantic families approve $435M compensation package
On Tuesday at 11 a.m., workers removed cones that, for more than three years, had blocked off access to Frontenac Street.
Seeing cars driving along the newly-paved downtown road moved Lac-Mégantic Mayor Jean-Guy Cloutier to tears.
"We are experiencing an extraordinary emotion. I have never felt this in my life – in my career. Off we go, and I think our citizens will be happy. There will be lots of traffic coming through here."
The reopening of Lac-Megantic's downtown core is the latest in a series of events that mark a new chapter for the town.
Last week, a health and beauty centre opened its doors, becoming the first business to set up in the devastated area known as the "red zone."
There is also a residential construction project underway there. At least 60 per cent of the downtown land available for development is already reserved.
DOT-111 cars phased out
Earlier this summer, Ottawa announced that, as of November, it would be phasing out the cars, which were involved in the deadly rail disaster in Lac-Mégantic.
By 2025, it will be prohibited to transport any flammable liquids in the cars.
With files from CBC reporter Antoni Nerestant