By Kevin Woodhouse
After passing a resolution at the September Kirkland council meeting asking the MTQ to make the new Urban 440 boulevard’s construction a priority project, the town council passed a second resolution detailing the town’s concerns and priorities for the upcoming construction, namely the new 440’s expected right-of-way.
At the time of Kirkland’s first resolution, Pierrefonds-Roxboro Mayor Dimitros Jim Beis threw his support behind the much needed construction that could pave the way for further residential development in the borough.
“The construction of this north-south road link is necessary to the development of Pierrefonds West,” noted Beis in September. “More than 6,000 homes will be built in this area that will become a small city in itself with its shops, public transit network and parks while ensuring the preservation of a 180 hectares eco-territory.”
Treasury Board Minister and Nelligan MNA Martin Coiteux told The Suburban that the addition of an overpass on the new 440, something Kirkland Mayor Gibson believes will drop traffic on St. Charles by 30 per cent, “would be the key to success for this project and will be part of the new urban boulevard.”
“It is of paramount importance that any road project built in the 440 right-of-way includes the simultaneous construction of a new overpass linking it to Highway 40,” stated Gibson via press release.
Citing a correspondence to director general Joe Sanalitro in late August fron the MTQ, Gibson noted the letter stated “the urban boulevard’s connection to Highway 40 will have to be via the existing interchange, in light of the Ministry’s important investments of 2008 extending the useful lifespan of the two Ste. Marie overpasses to 2023.”
The construction of the new boulevard without a new overpass to alleviate commuter traffic for Kirkland motorists is “a non-negotiable element for Kirkland,” explained Gibson. “We must stop penalizing the Ste. Marie overpasses that have already reached more than two-thirds of their capacity.”
The city also stated that it “fully intends to oppose any project that would go against these requirements.”
Regarding the construction of the eventual 440 boulevard, Coiteux told The Suburban in a September interview that “within the new laws for infrastructure spending, the urban boulevard is under a feasibility study as the costs for the project are being accessed.”
The Nelligan MNA was confident that once the study was completed by “the beginning of 2015, the project could head into the next phase, an opportunity study. Once that hurdle is completed, the planning phase begins.”