Province opts for tunnel as 3rd link between Quebec City and Lévis
Transport minister says new connection will be an option 'for the next 100 years'
The new connection between Quebec City and Lévis will be a tunnel, not a bridge, Transport Minister François Bonnardel announced Thursday.
"It can give another option to Quebecers for the next 100 years," Bonnardel said.
Construction of the long-awaited tunnel is slated to begin in October 2022.
He says it's too early to estimate the cost, and they will only be able to do so after an environmental impact study is done next year.
It will run around nine kilometres under the St. Lawrence River, but will not serve Île d'Orléans.
Rather than building a bridge, the province has decided to dig below the west side of the island, to prevent its landscape from being bulldozed.
At the moment, the two shores are connected by the Pierre Laporte Bridge and the Quebec Bridge.
Premier François Legault promised to build a third link between the two shores during the election campaign.
Bonnardel said the tunnel will reduce traffic, improve truck transport and encourage people to use public transit.
The province had previously announced a $3 billion tramway network that would run across Quebec City.
Bonnardel says the tramway will not run through the new tunnel, but that it will connect with the tunnel at d'Estimauville Avenue, where commuters could transfer to a bus.
Environmental groups have long expressed concerns over the new link.
Québec Solidaire MNAs Catherine Dorion and Sol Zanetti have said they are opposed to the third link construction, preferring to prioritize public transit options instead.