June 26, 2022

The Queens County Citizen

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Blue Line: Acquisition bill increased by one billion

Blue Line: Acquisition bill increased by one billion

However, in recent years these have exploded. Exploitation, in particular, was clearly underestimated at the beginning of the acquisition’s budget, but it will also vary as real estate warms.

According to information from Radio-Canada, the total cost of purchasing the land needed for the project has increased by almost a billion dollars compared to the initial budget. This amazing growth and difficult discussions with Quebec have been confirmed by many who are familiar with the subject.

Currently, the Society de Transport de Montreal (STM) estimates that $ 1.2 billion is needed to acquire these sites. In 2015, a total of 340 million was mentioned in the first opportunity file generated by the Metropolitan Transport Agency (AMT).

A project has been postponed to 2027 or 2028

Originally scheduled for 2026, The extension of the blue line will be further delayed. However, the new timeline has not been publicly mentioned.

However, in the documents obtained by Radio-Canada, written by STM, there is talk of a delay Varies from 6 to 20 months. This will be the result of the delay costs 80 million to 30 230 million additional costs, It is stated. In this analysis, it is emphasized Project costs increase by about $ 15 million for each new month of delay.

Like Justin Trudeau, governments at various levels are already committed to expanding the blue line in 2019, along with regional minister Chantal Rowley.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Ivanoh Demers

Unplanned land purchases

To explain this bill, which has almost quadrupled, several reasons have been cited. Among the various documents obtained by Radio-Canada, drafted by STM in recent months, is a discussion of Underestimate Initial costs for 500 captured files jointly managed by Minister des Transport and STM.

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Expensive delays are also brought forward.

STM is expected to acquire 50 lots by the end of 2020 to meet the master schedule of the project. This delay has already increased the estimated cost of the project to over 300 million.

A quote from:Extract from the November 19, 2020 STM summary

To manage this project, due to legal challenges, large acquisitions, unplanned, must now be considered. For example, STM had to be completely taken over The land of the Le Boulevard shopping center in the borough of St.-Leonard, as its owner objected to partial possession.

Similar problems persist in other sectors and traders should also be compensated, at the same time, on the rise in real estate prices in the metropolis, not counting the rising material costs, we were told.

In these documents, STM stated that it was not responsible for these acquisitions and the prices produced. The [ministère des Transports] Acts as the responsible ministry and subcontractor to the main contractor for land acquisition. However, the project manager has no scheduled responsibility or commitment to the project officers to take over the ministry., We can read briefly from STM.

Quebec must review the acquisition budget, STM responds

Optimization recommendations Are in preparation, explains the STM spokesperson. The working group is formed and proposals are submitted By the end of June To the government. We confirm that we have notified our partners that the envelope provided will be modified for the acquisition of space required for the extension of the blue line. This was one of the factors that prompted us to propose the formation of a committee of experts., Adds STM.

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Less elevators, more savings

Expenditure is now the main obstacle to this extension, which has been in operation since 1979 for the establishment of five new stations.

The Legalt government recently asked Montreal to fully review the project budget, which is now estimated at 6.1 billion, up from 3.9 billion in 2015, before being revised to 4.5 billion next year. This is an increase of 1.6 billion Reference project.

A lot Ways to save Already submitted to the Quebec Ministry of Transport. A new report must be submitted by summer.

The 1,200-space underground promotional parking space planned in Anjou has already been removed from the project according to our information. 140 million savings budget.

Other solutions were mentioned by STM in its November 2020 document, of which we have a copy. For example, STM proposes to reduce the number of escalators and elevators to save another hundred million.

Possible solutions suggested by STM

  • Increase the number of escalators from 47 to 31: $ 55 million in savings
  • Reduce the number of elevators to the station to 3: 64 million
  • Reduce En Platinum Certification to low certification: $ 50 million

About reviewing the number of entrance buildings to be built and concluding an agreement with Kaisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec for financing, the construction of which will, in the future, operate a future joint station with REM.

An extension of the blue line of the Montreal Metro.

Five new stations are planned as part of the Blue Line extension, but STM is studying the possibility of reducing this number.

Photo: Radio-Canada

More homes to build?

Concerned about the future of the project, Mayor Valerie Plante’s team wrote a letter to Prime Minister Franకోois Legalt‌ late last year to remind him of the importance of this extension.

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Earlier in the year, in a confidential report, the city submitted various ideas to the government to turn this large investment into a profit. Montreal proposes to build 13,000 housing units In the corridor Of this extension, including the above 2,500 Five new stations.

According to the municipal estimate, Sale of air rights For these structures .3 can earn revenue of Rs 56.3 million, including transport charges. 30.8 million potential revenues will be added.

Radio-Canada learned that negotiations were underway. The design of new stations should take these possibilities into account, Otherwise, it is almost impossible to build buildings on top of stations, a posterior, Supports this report.

The city, at present, refuses to reduce the number of stations. According to Quebec’s future decision, STM has already prepared alternative scenarios, among other things, including the construction of just four stations.

Is this a request from the Legalt government? In an interview with Radio-Canada, Chantal Rowley, the minister in charge of the metropolis, was cautious.

Our target is five stations. Evaluating in the context of a budget is common.

A quote from:Chantal Rowley, Minister of Metropolitan Responsibility

Elected Coquist and Riviere-des-Prairies – According to the former mayor of Point-Ox-Trembles borough, the project Not in danger, It should be understood from now on 4.5 billion budget Originally planned.

We tracked the train back, she said. We want the extension to take place within a timely budget.