August 9, 2022

The Queens County Citizen

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Complexity of tests: $4.2 million more for drilling of 3rd link

Complexity of tests: $4.2 million more for drilling of 3rd link

A drilling campaign to study soils in anticipation of construction of the third link will cost $16.2 million, or $4.2 million more than originally planned.

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Last week, the Minister of Transport, François Bonnardel, was pleased to present a new phase of the geotechnical drilling campaign, carrying out eight soil tests in the St. Lawrence River, on the seabed, between the cities of Quebec and Lévis centers.

The sequence follows the first drilling campaign two years ago. Indeed, in July 2020, the Ministere des Transports (MTQ) awarded a $12 million contract to the SNC-Lavalin / Englobe Corp consortium.

Experts entered the field in October of the same year. Their mandate was to conduct “geological and marine drilling and sounding as well as the characterization of soils and rocks for the Quebec-Lévis tunnel project”.

In this picture taken on July 14, a special barge is anchored in the river above the Quebec-Lévis crossing to dredge the St. Lawrence bed.

Photo QMI Agency, René Baillargeon

In this picture taken on July 14, a special barge is anchored in the river above the Quebec-Lévis crossing to dredge the St. Lawrence bed.

Wide area

At the time, MTQ indicated that the $12 million contract would be for a maximum period of three years and would be used to cover all geotechnical requirements for the project. It covers a large area of ​​land from the tip of Île d’Orléans to the city centers of Quebec and Lévis.

However, in July 2021, an amendment to the contract was made, meaning an additional $4,167,875.23, justified by “unforeseen damage or obstacles that could not be known before the work”, we learn by consulting the electronic system of government tenders.

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In its explanation, MTQ said, “The offshore drilling part is very complex and requires additional modifications to the barge, especially to ensure a level of stability and to lower the equipment into the seabed to build the platform and add mobile piles”.

No project notice yet

Moreover, although MTQ has not filed the project notice required to trigger an environmental assessment of the third link, this preparatory work is underway, it was revealed this week. destiny

This process aims to identify the environmental impacts of the tunnel. Hence these are not known before the next elections and also the opinion of various ministries on the acceptability of the project. It should be noted that the Quebec Tramway is subject to this process.

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