Exit 41 will finally re-open

City of Sainte Anne de Bellevue plans to start construction temporary access route by August

By Kevin Woodhouse

The city of Sainte Anne de Bellevue held a well-attended information session Monday night about the eventual opening of Exit 41 off highway 40 that has been closed since March 2011. 

Claude La Rue, Director of Technical Services, provided a dry and factual power point presentation detailing several options and price structures for the exit off the western section of the highway.

The immediate short-term solution presented, at a price tag between $30,000 and $40,000, is to build a small and temporary access route that would allow drivers to access the southern side of Anciens Combattants. The temporary access route would be in use anywhere between a few months to a year’s time, depending on when construction begins for the long-term work to sustain the exit for decades to come. 

The work on the access route could begin by August of this year, following a call to tenders.

The city had the two overpasses in question inspected this past January to get a proper assessment of the accrued damage since the viaducts’’ closing three years ago. La Rue told the assembled that inspectors from Roche took many cement samples and completed stress tests, noting that the small bridges’ joints have deteriorated due to water seepage especially the support beams.

Besides the aforementioned repairs, work would also be done to rehabilitate the retention walls as well as replacing the existing guardrails. The cost for the two bridges, one 25 m in length and the other 30 m, would be $2.4 million before taxes. If this option were to be put in place, the city has asked the MTQ to provide repairs that would give the 1963 built overpasses another 15-20 years of service.

The second option, that has been approved the city, for Exit 41 is to demolish the bridges entirely at a cost of $600,000 and then build a T-style intersection that would be on ground level and employ traffic lights for circulation purposes.

“This option will create rapid and fluid circulation and enable two-way traffic in the east and west directions,” La Rue said.

Traffic along Anciens Combattants would be affected during the construction period and the cost is estimated, before taxes, at $1.7 million.

The time frame put forward by La Rue was that the bridges would be demolished in the 2015 winter and the T-intersection would be built during the spring and summer months. The cost of yearly maintenance is decidedly lower than the repair scenario at $5,000 compared to five times that per annum for the cost of repairing the two structures.

The city of Sainte Anne de Bellevue reached an agreement with the MTQ last year that would see the government covering 11/15’s of the total project cost.

“The next step for the city is to install the temporary road,” Mayor Paola Hawa told The Suburban. “I wish that we could go with the reinstallation of the two overpasses but the cost difference between that and the T intersection of $1.4 million is simply too high.

“As a city, we have already wasted three years on this,” said the mayor. “We will not waste another three years waiting for something to happen.”

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