Canadian Consulting Engineer

Bonaventure Expressway to get the chop?

Councillors in the city of Montreal will soon be voting on a plan to demolish a section of the Bonaventure Expressw...

February 12, 2009   Canadian Consulting Engineer

Councillors in the city of Montreal will soon be voting on a plan to demolish a section of the Bonaventure Expressway, a busy elevated highway dating from the 1960s that carries traffic into the downtown core from Champlain Bridge.

The Societe du Havre de Montreal is overseeing a 20-year project to rehabilitate the city’s harbourfront and wants to remove the concrete overpass and replace it with a pedestrian friendly development that would extend the downtown to the waterfront.

In total, the society’s plans affect an area between the Lachine Canal and the Champlain Bridge. The first phase involves the removal of the Bonaventure expressway between Brennan and Notre Dame Streets. Once the structure is removed, the area would be rebuilt with blocks of commercial, residential and office buildings, wide sidewalks, a public square and other green spaces

The Societe du Havre agency will be ready to table a final report on phase 1 to the city council in a few weeks, and then the plans will go for public consultations.

Decades ago elevated expressways were seen as the engineers’ answer to urban traffic problems, but they have now fallen into disrepute. Urbanists in Toronto, for example, would like to see most sections of the Gardiner Expressway taken down. They say that this elevated roadway, also from the 1960s, cuts the city off from its waterfront. 

 


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