A citizen exasperated by the construction site on Grand Trunk Street in Montreal

Montrealers often have the impression that construction sites in Montreal are endless. For Stéphanie Labelle, a resident of Grand Trunk Street, in the Sud-Ouest borough, it is not just a simple impression: the rehabilitation work on the water and sewer pipes in front of her home has been going on for four years and she is exasperated.

During the municipal council meeting Monday evening, Stéphanie Labelle launched a heartfelt cry to elected officials, unable to endure any longer the dust, the torn roadway, the noise, the movements of trucks, the shortened nights and the uncertainty as to at the end of work that never seems to end.

“Is it reasonable for Ms. Plante to have work done directly in front of her home for such a long time and not to clearly inform her citizens? » she asked the mayor, her voice breaking with emotion. ” This is unacceptable ! It’s not four months, it’s four years! Just to add another layer, I was pregnant during this time. The dust, the noise, the number of nights I didn’t sleep because of the work being done in front of our house and the dust in the house, it’s hellish. »

The mother of two young children says she considered selling her house to move, frustrated by construction delays and the lack of information from the City regarding the progress of the work. “But we can’t sell our house: there has been a hole in front of our house since January 22 and there is no one working there,” she said.

The end of the tunnel

Valérie Plante said she was sensitive to her situation. “We will do everything we can to resolve this as quickly as possible,” she said. “We are going to take stock. The question of communications is really essential. We know very well that when we don’t know what’s going on, it plays in our heads and in our guts. There is nothing worse in life. »

The head of the water file at the executive committee, Maja Vodanović, admitted that this project had experienced many problems and that several non-compliances had been noted in recent years. “This is the most difficult project we have in the City of Montreal for water and it was more than a year late due to several issues on the ground,” she said. “There is an inspector from the Water Service who is there every day and who monitors the site. But unfortunately, even though we are there, we all the time encounter non-conformities on the construction site which must be corrected. »

The elected official mentioned having met Monday morning with representatives of the Water Service in the company of the mayor of the South-West, Benoit Dorais to take stock of the file. “We became aware of the extent of the work, the extent of the non-compliances and the problems we have with the contractor,” she added, promising to go to the site on Tuesday in order to meet Ms. Labelle.

She specified that the work interrupted in February should resume shortly for a period of four to five weeks. The roadway will subsequently be backfilled. “At the end of June, it will be asphalted and finished. The end of the tunnel is coming. »

Compensation requested

This project results from a $14.5 million contract awarded by the City in January 2021 to the company Duroking Construction for work to rehabilitate water pipes, sewer pipes, leveling and coating on Grand Street Trunk, between rue d’Argenson and rue Wellington. Joined by The dutythe company declined to comment on the matter Tuesday.

Stéphanie Labelle hopes that this nightmare will end as the City promises. Given the harm suffered over the years, she is also demanding that the City compensate the residents of Grand Trunk Street, especially since significant tax increases have been imposed on Montrealers in 2024, i.e. 4.9% in average. The citizen has also launched an online petition for citizens to obtain compensation. “We can’t put citizens through this for four years,” she said.

Ms. Labelle emphasizes that the residents were not the only ones to suffer the major inconveniences linked to this construction site since many citizens frequent this sector which also includes a daycare, an elementary school, a grocery store, a seniors’ residence, a nursing home. young people and facilities such as parks, a library, a paddling pool and an ice rink.

The Plante administration did not want to make any commitments regarding compensation to residents before having analyzed the file.

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