Montreal creates new team to help ease construction-related headaches

The "construction sites squad" will be tasked with make sure work sites conform to the city's bylaws and technical requirements. 

'Construction sites squad' is 1 of many measures Plante administration is implementing

The city is launching a 'construction sites squad' to make sure roadwork is up to code. (Jean-Francois Villeneuve/Radio-Canada)

Starting next month, the City of Montreal will be deploy a second group of inspectors tasked with mitigating headaches caused by construction sites in the city's core. 

The city plans to pour more than $760 million into infrastructure projects this year, and the new "construction sites squad" will be tasked with helping to ensure the work goes smoothly.

Made up of six inspectors, members of the squad will randomly show up at work sites to make sure they conform to the city's bylaws and technical requirements. 

"For example, they can drill the new pavement and send the collected materials for analysis at the city laboratory," to ensure the materials used are safe for the environment, said Coun. Sylvain Ouellet, the executive committee member responsible for infrastructure, at a news conference.

The new squad comes after the city launched a mobility squad last summer, aimed at solving traffic problems and improving circulation in the city. 

Coun. Sylvain Ouellet presented the city's plan to mitigate construction site woes for the upcoming season Thursday. (Radio-Canada)

City says it's being more choosy

Ouellet also said the city's administration is trying to be more selective about which sites it approves, in order to limit traffic woes.

Only about half of the requests received so far this year have been approved — a move he says was vital "for the economic activity in the city's centre."

"The downtown area has reached a saturation point with respect to the number of construction projects underway."

The city released a map of the big infrastructure projects it is overseeing, not including sites run by other parties, such as the STM or any Montreal boroughs. 

The main projects include:

  • The overhaul of Ste-Catherine Street West.
  • Plaza St-Hubert.
  • Pie IX Street.
  • Jarry Street.
  • St-Grégoire Street.
  • Papineau Avenue between Gauthier and Marianne streets. 

The next step, Ouellet said, is to create what it's calling a construction charter. 

The charter's aim will be to limit nuisances to residents, prioritize accessibility and security and facilitate communication between the city, those running the construction sites, and the merchants and residents who will be affected by it. 

It's expected to be in place by next year.

With files from Derek Marinos


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