Montreal's light rail network adjusted to reduce environmental, urban impact
Changes to plan announced one week before public environmental review hearings
Quebec's pension fund manager, the Caisse de Dépôt et Placement, is making a few tweaks to its ambitious urban LRT project in Montreal, a week before public environmental review hearings into the project are set to begin.
The electric, fully automated rail line would be made up of 24 stations stretching from Brossard to Dorval's Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport. It's projected to cost $5.5 billion and be completed by 2020.
The main change announced Wednesday morning is a deal with CN for the Caisse to acquire the rail infrastructure that leads from Griffintown into central station downtown.
- Quebec to fast-track light rail project's environmental review
- Environmentalists worried about light rail project's impact on West Island park
Reducing urban and environmental impact
The Caisse said the adjusted plan will reduce impacts on the urban landscape, eliminating the need for some road closures and preserving several heritage buildings, including the Rodier building, that were slated for partial or complete demolition.
The Caisse said it's also taking steps to reduce the environmental impacts of the project on various wetlands.
In particular, the route through the Des Sources nature park in the Saint-Laurent borough will now be completely underground.
As well, the new plan includes a 10 per cent decrease in the number of expropriations.
Around 25 homes will be expropriated to build the LRT.