Montreal approves $100 million to build new Île-Bizard bridge

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The City of Montreal’s executive committee has approved spending $100 million to build a new bridge between Île-Bizard and the island of Montreal, the Montreal Gazette reports. The funds will also be used to reinforce the existing Jacques-Bizard Bridge, which is the only road connection to the island.

In October, Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre announced $21.8 million of the bridge work costs will come from the city’s $1.1 billion three-year capital works budget.

Municipal council must approve the project, and then the city needs to create a preliminary design, which should be completed this summer. Planning, approvals and public consultations, as well as a call for tenders, would happen by 2018, followed by construction in 2018, 2019 and possibly 2020.

The new bridge will be built right next to the existing span, the Gazette reports. Work to reinforce the existing bridge should begin this summer.

Île-Bizard–Ste-Geneviève borough Mayor Normand Marinacci said the existing bridge’s final fate hasn’t been decided yet. “We would prefer to keep it for emergencies, for the cycling path and for pedestrians,” he said. Utilities for Île-Bizard were also installed underneath the bridge, and these would be expensive to move if the existing span was demolished.

The Jacques-Bizard Bridge, built in 1966, has three lanes, a bike lane and a sidewalk. Nearly 30,000 vehicles drive over it every day. The new bridge could have four lanes, “which will have the effect of significantly reducing congestion episodes due to maintenance work or incidents,” Lionel Perez, the executive committee member responsible for infrastructure, said in a press release.

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