by Kevin Woodhouse
“After three and a half years of waiting, this is a first step in doing something for the citizens,” said a smiling Stephan Wintemute last Thursday, minutes before Exit 41 was reopened.
The Ste. Anne de Bellevue resident lives in the northern sector of the town and is pleased that the new exit opening, albeit via a temporary access route, will alleviate the traffic congestion that blocks the area every morning and afternoon during rush hour traffic.
“All of the citizens I have talked to were for it,” Wintemute told The Suburban, referring to the $43,000 in cost for constructing the access route that will be open until the T-intersection is completed by next summer. The demolition of the two older overpasses, closed in March 2011, will begin this winter at a cost of $600,000 that will be covered by the city of Ste. Anne de Bellevue.
Mayor Paola Hawa was present for the opening that occurred for the media at 8 a.m. and being officially opened to the public about an hour later following inspections and approval from the MTQ.
The MTQ will cover 11/16 of the cost of the new T-intersection, with the final cost for the city coming to about $1.2 million.
“It is not fair that a small city like Ste. Anne’s should have to cover the cost of an arterial road that is used not just by residents but it is what it is,” Hawa said. “There had to be a solution put into place for the citizens.”
Drivers irked with having to make a serious detour would often perform dangerous U-turns but these practices will now be a thing of the past, making it safer for cyclists and motorists alike.
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