Bonaventure Expressway makeover includes new park, art and walkways
New urban boulevard including 9 ground-level lanes replaces old expressway
The City of Montreal has officially unveiled a new look for the stretch of road leading into the Bonaventure Expressway, including green space, walkways and a work of art.
The esthetic overhaul is part of the city's $140-million project announced in 2014 to replace a stretch of the expressway and turn it into an urban boulevard in time for Montreal's 375th anniversary.
Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre called the new configuration a "major transport route that is modern, durable and well-integrated in the urban milieu" at the inauguration on Wednesday.
The now-demolished expressway into Montreal has become two boulevards with a total of nine ground-level lanes that lead into Robert-Bourassa Boulevard.
With the addition of a park dividing the boulevard and corridors for pedestrians, Coderre called it a "grand entrance for a grand city."
There is also a streel structure work of art by international artist Jaume Plensa, that will be there for a minimum of 25 years.
For her part, Projet Montréal leader Valérie Plante said that while there is a need for green space in the Griffintown area, she was critical of placing a park in the middle of an urban boulevard.
"Making a park in the middle of an autoroute, we really doubt we are meeting the needs of families and people in the area," said Plante.
📸<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Bonaventure?src=hash">#Bonaventure</a> d’hier à aujourd’hui! <br><br>📅À partir de demain, célébrons la nouvelle entrée de ville! <br><br>Programmation » <a href="https://t.co/S6DdfHLt1u">https://t.co/S6DdfHLt1u</a> <a href="https://t.co/AkGwyOyoOv">pic.twitter.com/AkGwyOyoOv</a>—@MTL_Ville
With files from CBC's Antoni Nerestant