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T-intersection will begin construction next spring
By Kevin Woodhouse
For most Ste. Anne de Bellevue residents, news that Exit 41, which has been sealed off for more than three years, will finally be opened, albeit as a temporary measure for now, starting in mid-September.
Originally slated to cost $40,000, council had to revise its numbers with an increase of $3,000 to create the temporary opening that will actually allow drivers access to the exit. At a special council meeting held last week, all but one of the six councillors voted unanimously to spend the money for the temporary measure.
The council’s plan for a T-intersection will still go ahead as planned with the MTQ paying for a large portion of the project that will see the old overpass gutted over the winter months and construction to begin in spring of 2015.
“The work will start this week and be completed by Sept. 15,” Mayor Paola Hawa told The Suburban.
Besides the inconvenience of having to detour around the exit for the last few years, the mayor is happy that the entrance will open for safety reasons, something she recently expressed via social media. “Not only had traffic on Chemin Ste. Marie become unbearable, it had become a safety hazard,” the mayor noted. “Over the past year, I personally know of at least three head-on collisions caused by motorists doing u-turns on the bottom of hill (near the Arboretum) off the 40 service road.”
When asked if there was any dissension about the temporary exit that could last up to one year, Hawa said that “there has been overwhelming support from the community on this issue.”
Ironically, Councillor Michel Boudreault for District 6, in the northern portion of the city where the exit closure has caused a lot of problems for drivers, was the lone dissenter while his wife, a frequent council attendee, used to rail against former Mayor Francis Deroo at every meeting over his lack of progress in getting the overpass re-opened.