Plante's 1st capital works budget targets crumbling roads, waterworks — but no mention of Metro Pink line

Montreal will be spending $6.38 billion on capital works over the next three years, the majority of which will go toward road repairs and water infrastructure.

Two-thirds of capital spending over next 3 years going toward infrastructure repairs

Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante and Benoit Dorais, the chair of the executive committee, presented the administration's first capital works budget Wednesday morning. (Radio-Canada)

Montreal will be spending $6.38 billion on capital works over the next three years, the majority of which will go toward road repairs and water infrastructure.

The capital works budget, released Wednesday morning, outlines what infrastructure projects are planned for the next three years and how much money will be set aside to pay for them. Exceptionally, it comes a week after the adoption of the city's operating budget, which is normally passed after the capital works budget has been approved.

More than $2 billion will be spent on road construction and repairs, while slightly less than that amount will be spent on environmental and underground projects, including replacing and repairing water mains and sewers.

"These investments aim to eliminate the deficit in upkeep of the road network over the next five years and the water and sewer system over 10 years," the city said in a news release.

When the operating budget was announced earlier this month, Mayor Valérie Plante attributed the higher-than-expected tax increase to the need to make urgent repairs to the city's waterworks. Just yesterday, it announced a 10-year, $235-million plan to improve the potable water network in Lachine and Dorval.

Housing, bike paths — but no word on Pink line

Notably absent from the new three-year capital plan is any mention of the Pink line — a proposed new Metro line on which Plante campaigned that would run diagonally from Montreal North through downtown to Lachine.

The plan does, however, allocate substantial resources to new borough projects, such as a new aquatic centre in Pierrefonds, and to public housing.

Affordable housing, Plante said, is "a basic need, and we're tackling it."

The city will invest $22.6 million in public housing, $15 million of which will be dedicated to buying land for housing projects. 

In the past, Projet Montréal had criticized the Coderre administration for setting aside just $3 million between 2017 and 2019 for land acquisition for housing projects.

Some highlights

Other projects in the capital budget include:

  • $95 million for the Ste-Catherine Street makeover.
  • $72.5 million for the reconstruction of Pie-IX Boulevard.
  • $60.9 million for the refurbishment of Plaza St-Hubert.
  • $50 million for the Réseau Express Vélo, a 140-km network of bike paths promised by Plante.
  • $63.8 million for Montreal libraries and for new technology to track books and other loaned items.
  • $165.7 million for Parc Jean-Drapeau renovations, including improvements to the Gilles-Villeneuve race track.

With files from Steve Rukavina