You can’t get there from here

Posted on Wednesday, June 15, 2016

constructionBy Doug Sweet

It’s going to be a challenging summer for people working and studying on the downtown campus – and it will probably be a challenging fall, winter and spring as well.

As part of the work required to create the City’s of Montreal’s Promenade Urbaine Fleuve-Montagne project honoring next year’s 375th anniversary of the city’s founding, major roadwork will take place on Sherbrooke and McTavish streets and Dr. Penfield Ave.

The work, the City says, will begin Monday, June 20, and last until May, 2017. (A message to the McGill community last week said the work was to have begun on June 13, but within an hour of that message being sent, the City changed its plans.)

Many details about various points of access for both pedestrians and vehicles are still being worked out, but the big picture looks like this:

  • Sherbrooke St., from University St./Robert Bourassa Blvd. to Peel St., will be ripped up to redo sidewalks and curbs as well as replace sewer, water and gas mains as well as other infrastructure. Work is slated to begin Monday, June 20. At least one lane of traffic will be open in each direction. Bus stops may be moved. McGill will have to relocate the stop for the Macdonald Campus shuttle bus and is in talks with the City about where that should be.
  • McTavish St., from Sherbrooke to Dr. Penfield and from Dr. Penfield to Pine Ave. will be rebuilt and reshaped to install a more pedestrian-friendly infrastructure while maintaining access for emergency vehicles. Work will begin soon.
  • Dr. Penfield Ave. will be rebuilt from Peel St. eastward. A major portion of that work will involve digging into the street at the intersection of McTavish (eliminating the stone steps on the south side of the street at McTavish and replacing some aged infrastructure). Much of this work will involve jackhammering through approximately about 1.2 to 1.5 metres into rock.
  • At some point, the City will also close the intersection of University and Sherbrooke for an expected four days to make major repairs to water main infrastructure. One northbound lane on University will remain open to provide access to the campus. This may entail partial deconstruction of part of the University St. bicycle path.

As mentioned in last week’s message from Robert Couvrette, Associate Vice-Principal (Facilities Management and Ancillary Services), work is scheduled to occur from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. up to six days a week, with the possibility of overnight work taking place at certain times. This work might also affect water supplies in the area and the City has promised to provide 48 hours’ notice of any shutoffs.

The partial or complete closure of Dr. Penfield will affect eastbound traffic from Peel to Pine. The University is in discussions with the City about how to best arrange access to University buildings.

Work will not take place during August 16 and 17, 2016, nor on Remembrance Day, Nov. 11, 2016, nor during winter and spring examination periods. It is scheduled to be completed before next Spring’s Convocation.

“We are working with the City to try to keep disruptions and inconvenience to a minimum,” Couvrette said. “We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding. These projects are large and complex and it is impossible to be entirely certain when various stages will begin and end. The City has been made aware of our needs and we anticipate that they will be largely met.

“Above all, we will continue to communicate with you, to let you know of major changes to traffic or access ahead of time, when possible.”

The University will continue to update the City of Montreal Projects section of the McGill Construction website, and the City of Montreal’s Info-Travaux site can also be a useful source of information.


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One Response to You can’t get there from here

  1. Tom says:

    I have seen the drawings for the finished project. It will be beautiful for McGill and Montreal.

    But I am highly suspicious about the 11 month timeframe.

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