Montreal

Montreal to replace Van Horne–Rosemont overpass

The City of Montreal is moving ahead with plans to replace the 46-year-old Van Horne–Rosemont overpass and redevelop Rosemont Boulevard between Saint-Denis and Saint-Hubert streets.

City launches architectural design contest for project, which will also redevelop part of Rosemont Boulevard

The Van Horne overpass was built in 1971 and runs from Saint-Denis Street to Saint-Urbain Street. (Ben Shingler / CBC)

The City of Montreal is moving ahead with plans to replace the 46-year-old Van Horne–Rosemont overpass and redevelop Rosemont Boulevard between Saint-Denis and Saint-Hubert streets.

On Sunday, city officials launched a design contest for architectural and engineering plans for the project.

The winner will be unveiled in 2018.

Lionel Perez said the redevelopment will make the area around the Van Horne overpass 'more livable and enjoyable.'

Lionel Perez, the city executive committee member in charge of infrastructure, said the overpass will reach the end of its lifespan in a few years and it's an opportunity to make some changes.

"We're seizing this opportunity to rethink the overpass concept and make the area more livable and enjoyable," Perez said.

The new overpass will make room for bikes and pedestrians and feature more green space.

The cost of the project is estimated at between $90 to $100 million.

The underside of the overpass has been turned into a green space and paintings now grace its pillars. (Sarah Leavitt/CBC)

Project comes as surprise to Rosemont mayor 

François Croteau, the mayor of the Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie borough and a city councillor with Projet Montréal, said the announcement is "good news" for his borough and the adjacent Plateau—Mont-Royal borough.

He said the project was proposed by Projet Montréal in both boroughs, though neither borough was consulted prior to Sunday's announcement.

"We don't know if this was improvised or what," he said.

Many question marks remain, he said, including the fate of a skate park under the overpass that the Plateau—Mont-Royal borough is planning to build this summer.

"We're a little bit worried about that," he said.