Cabinet minister trying to get Highway 440 construction rolling

Jacques Bizard corridor stalled until West Island mayors forge consensus

By Robert Frank
www.thesuburban.com

Yolande James has voiced her commitment to support advocates of an extension to Highway 440 that would divert intercity truck traffic around the island and relieve Montreal’s congested arteries.

“We have been pretty active in trying to facilitate this file as soon as possible,” the Quebec cabinet minister and member for Nelligan riding told The Suburban in a telephone interview from Baie Comeau.

The project would involve building an overpass at Highway 40 that would permit through traffic to take the east-west 440 beltway through Laval.

She explained that consensus among the municipalities through which the highway will pass, “notably with Pierrefonds”, is what ought to permit the project to move forward.

Last week, Pointe Claire Mayor Bill McMurchie told The Suburban that the province should give precedence to building the Jacques Bizard corridor, to relieve strain on the West Island’s overloaded north-south corridors.

That route would follow an unused Hydro Quebec right-of-way from Île Bizard to the Lakeshore General Hospital.

“I want to be supportive of a Jacques Bizard project that benefits the riding and people throughout the West Island and that has the support of the mayors,” James emphasized, “but there has to be a certain amount of consensus before that project can move forward.”

“I’m not against it and I want to be able to facilitate [construction of the Jacques Bizard corridor] once there is a consensus on a municipal level,” James said, “and from what I understand, that’s not yet the case.”

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