Ste. Anne reaches agreement in overpass stalemate
New exit slated to open by September 2014
TSte. Anne-de-Bellevue and the Ministère des Transports du Québec, MTQ, have ended a more than 2 year stalemate and will work together to open Exit 41, off Highway 40 West, a year from now.
he town’s council unanimously voted during a special Sept. 16 meeting to go ahead with a $1.5 million project to restore the connecting link between Highway 40 West and Highway 20. Before the exit was closed in March 2011, the highways had connected in Ste. Anne de Bellevue via Boulevard des AnciensCombattants.
The exit was closed after an overpass was deemed unsafe.
The town and ministry have agreed to the construction of a T-shaped intersection which will be built to replace the current overpass, though the current overpass will not be demolished immediately nor is its demolition necessary in order to start construction on the new intersection.
“They are two different dossiers,” Ste. Anne-de-Bellevue mayor Francis Deroo said Monday during an interview.
He said the cost of demolishing the old overpass is not included in the MTQ agreement.
He could not say when the old overpass will be demolished.
Deroo maintains that the project offers a permanent, durable and long-term solution while also being fair to taxpayers.
The town is expected to pay $400,000 of the total cost, while the MTQ will pick up the remainder, or more than $1.1 million.
“They’re paying more than 70-percent, so I think that’s fair,” Deroo noted, adding that he had two key objectives when negotiating the agreement: finding a longterm solution rather than a short-term “patch-up” job, and finding a solution that would be financially just for Ste. Anne residents.
Deroo has long maintained that since the exit and overpass are used by hundreds of motorists each day who are not from Ste. Anne-de-Bellevue, it would not be unfair to pass the cost of reopening the exit onto residents alone.
The town will go to tender for drawings and specifications within the coming weeks and should award a construction contract next March or April. Construction on the T-shaped intersection is scheduled to begin in June, while the exit is slated to reopen in September 2014.
Deroo, who is not seeking re-election in November, says as someone who was born and raised in the waterfront town, he had a vested interest in making sure the road stalemate was ended with a financially sound but longterm solution.