Just a few hours after Justin Trudeau, Valérie Plante, and other representatives from the Quebec government announced $1.3 billion dollars in funding for the blue line extension project, STM crews are already set to begin work on the massive project.
Crews were spotted conducting geotechnical and environmental surveys around Saint-Michel metro station. According to TVA Nouvelles, crews will begin drilling and conducting extensive land surveys this summer in anticipation for the start of construction in winter 2021.
The STM wishes to evaluate the soil before they undertake the massive mega-project which is set to be completed by 2026. Already, some critics are skeptical, but once evaluations are finished in 2020, the STM plans an aggressive and efficient construction project for the blue line.
According to the Montreal Gazette, Chantal Rouleau, Quebec's Transport Minister says that the blue line extension will bring life into the East End and that the neighbourhood will no longer be forgotten.
Expected for approval in fall 2020 and with construction anticipated to begin in winter 2021, the STM is confident that it will be able to meet the 2026 deadline.
With Quebec on the hook for nearly $4 billion dollars after the federal government's contribution, cost overruns will have to be mitigated as much as possible. The STM is the principal contractor of this project.
The extension will include the construction of five new metro stations. Beginning at the current terminus at Saint-Michel station, the line will run until the Galeries d'Anjou mall.
The five stations will be at the intersections of boulevard Pie-IX, boulevard Viau, boulevard Lacordaire, boulevard Langelier, and boulevard Galeries d'Anjou. The names of the five new stations are yet to be determined.
Various committees are also currently working out the details of urban integration and land expropriations. There are apparently 20 lots, owned by 17 different people that must be expropriated to the city.
Montreal will be on the hook for "surface developments," meaning that the city will be responsible for building and maintaining overpasses and tunnels to access the metro stations. Costs have not yet been determined.
While the STM is confident that the project will be completed by 2026, the public is understandably skeptical. Hopefully, all the on-going preparations will allow the project to be completed on time.
In addition to the blue line extension, Montreal is also set to construct a streetcar that will run between Lachine and Ville-Marie.
Stay tuned for more news about STM projects.