Dorval Circle project being held up by red tape

Marc Lalonde
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Province must build consensus between 10 partners, including airport


The Dorval Circle project is a fairly complex one, involving 10 partners, including the provincial government, Aeroports de Montreal, Canadian National, Canadian Pacific and the city of Dorval, among others, but it's not as though the government didn't know that was the case when they announced the project – which is slated to have a direct off-ramp from Highway 20 to Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport and would do away with the traffic-choking and often-dangerous Dorval traffic circle completely.

Transport Quebec says, somewhat optimistically, that the entire project – now divided into two, distinct projects, but still linked directly – could be partly finished by 2015. Transport Quebec spokesperson Sarah Bensadoun said the highway-reconstruction aspect of the project could be finished by 2015 – if the 10 partners in the rail aspect of the project (who all have different agendas, different priorities and different requirements, and will, ostensibly, work as hard as possible to defend those priorities) can come to consensus.

And that's a big 'if.'

The Aeroports de Montreal continue to push for two distinct rail lines coming west from downtown – one would serve the airport directly while the other would shuttle commuters to and from the West Island and off-island area every 30 minutes or so from sunup until 11 p.m. The Train de l'Ouest committee, led by former MP Clifford Lincoln and former West Island industrial commissioner Georges Nydam, doesn't think the government will be able to build two lines, so a more realistic notion would be a shared line with a stop at the airport. For the project to be wrapped up by 2015, we think what is needed is nothing short of a miracle.

Organizations: Aeroports de Montreal, Canadian National, Canadian Pacific Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport

Geographic location: Dorval, West Island

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