The Champlain Bridge: The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal satisfied with the federal government’s commitment
Montréal, October 5, 2011 – The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal is delighted with the firm commitment from federal Transport Minister Denis Lebel to build a new Champlain Bridge. The announcement responds to the metropolitan area business community’s primary concern, which was to eliminate any uncertainty surrounding the speedy replacement of this vital piece of infrastructure for the economy of the city and the country.
“The Champlain Bridge is the most travelled bridge in the country and a critical roadway link for the economy of Montréal, Quebec and Canada, in that it carries over $20 billion in merchandise every year,” said Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. “The Board of Trade had asked that the process leading to the construction of a new link get under way immediately. In the end, the federal government acted quickly and responsibly on this issue. We congratulate it for that.”
What is important now is to establish a firm schedule and a sound decision-making process during every phase. “Even if maintenance work will in all likelihood ensure the safety of this aging bridge, we have to keep in mind that the 10-year timeframe that many experts point to is an outside limit,” Michel Leblanc said. “We encourage the government to study every possibility for speeding up the process so that we have a new bridge sooner. The decision to form a public-private partnership is an excellent means of achieving this.”
The free flow of transport in the metropolitan area is an important issue. The new Champlain Bridge should help improve the situation. “Coordinated mitigation measures should also be put in place to avoid exacerbating the already heavy congestion in Montréal,” Michel Leblanc said. “Traffic on and around the Champlain Bridge should not be interrupted during the work.”
“Now that this initial step is complete, the Board of Trade will insist that the schedule be respected,” Mr. Leblanc said.
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal has some 7,000 members. Its primary mission is to represent the interests of the business community of Greater Montreal and to provide individuals, merchants, and businesses of all sizes with a variety of specialized services to help them achieve their full potential in terms of innovation, productivity and competitiveness. The Board of Trade is Quebec’s leading private economic development organization.
Advisor, Media Relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: 514 871-4000, ext. 4015