The transformation of the Bonaventure Expressway:
Another step towards inspiring urban development
Montréal, June 18, 2009 The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal is delighted by today's announcement by the Société du Havre de Montréal concerning the progress of the Quartier Bonaventure project and the creation of a living environment at the gateway to downtown Montréal.
More than simply a reorganization of the roadway infrastructure, this project is a true sustainable urban development initiative. With the demolition of the elevated infrastructure, unique spaces will be opened up for the development of a prestigious gateway to the city, which, through its distinctive architectural quality, will be worthy of a metropolis such as Montréal, named a UNESCO City of Design, stated Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal.
The planning of these new parcels of land will allow for the redevelopment of an entire unstructured area close to downtown and the Lachine Canal, in which several buildings are rather deteriorated. The City of Montréal will secure large sums of money from the sale of the vacated land, and various levels of government will generate recurrent revenue from the economic activity that will take place. In this period of economic uncertainty, projects such as this take on a special importance, as they create wealth and contribute to promoting the recovery of our city's economy, continued Michel Leblanc.
Preparatory work has allowed two fundamental challenges to be brought to light, both of which will directly influence the project's viability in view of its new scale: maintaining the flow of traffic, and the amount of financing required for Phase I.
While the designers of the project have made the deliberate choice of allowing a special place for public transit, it is of prime importance that exceptionally effective measures be put into place before the work starts in order to ensure the flow of traffic at each step of the project, and to allow for an increase in travel by means of public transit. The challenge of finding sources of public funding also remains, as Phase I of the project is now more ambitious than it was at the time of its initial draft. It is therefore necessary to quickly determine the roles that will be played by various public stakeholders so that work may begin as soon as possible, concluded Michel Leblanc.
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 Montréal and to provide individuals, merchants, and local 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.
Coordinator, Media relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: 514 871-4000, ext. 4015