Réseau express métropolitain: the main construction sites and work for 2018 and 2019
The Réseau express métropolitain (REM) is the largest public transportation network construction site in Québec in the past 50 years. A project office has been opened to plan this large-scale enterprise. It will coordinate all operations with municipalities, transit organizations and other stakeholders, and will then regularly communicate information about the work to users and the public.
Today, together with the Autorité régionale de transport métropolitain (ARTM) and the NouvLR consortium, responsible for constructing REM infrastructure, the project office presented the main construction sites and upcoming work for 2018 and 2019. This technical presentation is available on the rem.info website (“Documentation” page). Other technical briefings will be organized on a regular basis as the work progresses.
The REM project office and all partners will find ongoing solutions to reduce the impact of the REM’s construction work as much as possible.
The main construction sites and work for 2018–2019
The Deux-Montagnes line – maintaining public transit services
The Deux-Montagnes line will be fully modernized with the implementation of a new high frequency rail system that will increase the line’s capacity for decades to come. A new electrical power system will be installed, all railway infrastructure will be converted (new tracks, ballast and overpasses to replace the existing crossings), and modern and universally accessible buildings will be constructed. These major works – on a line that is still in operation – are among the greatest challenges the REM construction site will have to deal with.
Weekend work will begin on the Deux-Montagnes line on April 27, 2018 (Friday evening to Monday morning) and will continue until the REM project starts up. The work will speed up during the weekends in an effort to minimize the impact on weekday trains in 2018 and 2019. The ARTM and the transit companies have introduced a series of measures to mitigate the effects of the weekend work (see the ARTM press release - french only).
Starting in the end of June 2018, a segment of the Deux-Montagnes line will run along a single track in the Ville Mont‑Royal sector so that new stations can be built. Close coordination between the ARTM, the RTM and the STM, will mean that the work can be done in such a way as to limit the impact on regular weekday service. However, the schedule for the Deux-Montagnes and Mascouche lines will have to be reorganized. For the Deux-Montagnes line that will mean cancelling two morning departures and one evening departure (only departing from or going to stations on the Island of Montréal).
A technical briefing will be organized in May to present the definitve schedule and the alternative measures that will be offered to users. Close work will be done with the STM to analyze existing bus routes around the stations on the Island of Montréal that will be primarily concerned.
Beginning in early 2020, and for approximately 24 months, the entire segment of the Deux‑Montagnes line between Du Ruisseau and Central Station will be replaced by a bus service. Train service will have to be interrupted due to the scope of the work, i.e. the construction of new stations, including three with a connection to Montréal’s métro network, and the installation of new rail systems.
With a view to minimizing the impact of this large-scale construction site on Deux‑Montagnes and Mascouche line users, the ARTM has set up a specific governance structure. Committees of experts meet on a regular basis to identify the impacts and decide which alternative public transit measures to implement during the various phases. Among the preferred alternatives for users of the Deux‑Montagnes line, (where service will be maintained between the Deux‑Montagnes and Du Ruisseau stations) is a shuttle system to the western branch of the Montréal métro’s Orange Line.
An innovation forum will be organized in the fall of 2018 with mobility partners and various organizations to identify replacement solutions (active transit, carpooling, teleworking, etc.) that are faster than solo driving. Before that, various information activities will also be organized with users, and user committees will be set up in collaboration with Trajectoire Québec. The final strategy for providing transit services to Deux-Montagnes and Mascouche line users will be presented in the fall of 2019.
South Shore – preferential access to buses
Roadwork on the South Shore will be focused on the centre of Highway 10 in 2018 and 2019 to build the future Panama and Du Quartier stations. Work is also planned for the entrances to the Rive-Sud terminal station.
In the area between the future Panama and Du Quartier stations, Highway 10 will be reconfigured so that piles can be installed for the REM’s future railway structure in the centre of Highway 10. While the work is being done, two lanes in each direction will remain open for automobile traffic.
New ramps and reserved bus lanes will be built along Highway 10 to ensure smooth access between the Panama and Chevrier terminals as well as to the Champlain Bridge. Construction of these ramps will begin in 2018, with a planned startup for 2019.
The reconfiguration of road access points and reserved lanes will be aligned with the projects of various partners and work already underway to build the new Champlain Bridge.
Once the new bridge is in operation, South Shore buses will use the shoulder lanes of each lateral deck as reserved lanes so that the REM’s future rails can be installed on the central deck.
West Island and the airport – preparing the land
In the West Island of Montréal, preparatory work will begin along the future Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue and Airport branches in 2018. The dismantling of the Doney railway right of way will begin in preparation for the arrival of the REM. There will be construction sites along Highway 40 so that superstructures can be installed to build foundation units for the network’s elevated structure.
Other construction sites to watch
In the next two years, keep an eye on two other construction sites.
Starting in the summer of 2018, excavation work to connect the Montréal métro’s Blue Line to the future Édouard-Montpetit REM station will be launched in the Université de Montréal sector. The STM métro entrance across from the Pavillon Marie-Victorin will be closed during this work, but the other two entrances to the Édouard-Montpetit métro station will remain open.
The Édouard-Montpetit REM station will be 70 metres (20 storeys) below the level of the métro entrance, making it the second deepest station in North America.
As for downtown Montréal, excavation work will start in the fall of 2018 on the east side of McGill College Avenue, between Sainte-Catherine Street and De Maisonneuve Boulevard. This stretch will be closed to automobile traffic during that time, but parking garages will remain open and pedestrian traffic will be allowed (except at certain times). Traffic disruptions will be coordinated with the City of Montréal and the construction work on Sainte-Catherine Street.
Nature of the work
- New technology: automated electric light rail on fully dedicated lines (dedicated corridor)
- Construction of Rive-Sud, Airport and Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue branches
- Conversion of the route to accommodate a light rail on the Deux-Montagnes line
- Crossing conversions on this line
- Upgrading of the Mont-Royal Tunnel
- Construction of three connections to the métro (McGill, Édouard-Montpetit and Bonaventure) and an intermodal station (Correspondance A40)
- Construction of 26 REM stations
- Construction of 25 overpasses, 2 maintenance centres, 13 bus terminals, 13 park-and-ride lots
- Enclosed stations, sheltered from the elements and designed for universal access
Tools for monitoring construction work
Several information tools are available to follow the development of construction work, including a website that is updated daily, construction notices, a telephone line, a newsletter and SMS alerts.
The REM’s Community Relations Office will also be holding several information activities in May 2018 and over the next few months to inform the communities concerned of upcoming work in their areas; this will be done in a proactive, regular way before the work begins.
The Réseau express métropolitain (REM) is a new, integrated public transit network that has 26 stations and spans 67 km to link downtown Montréal, university centres, the South Shore, the West Island, the North Shore and the airport through an entirely automated and electric light rail transit (LRT) system. Providing high-frequency service, the REM will operate 20 hours a day, 7 days per week, and will be connected to Montréal’s three main métro lines.
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