Deux-Montagnes says ‘no’ to moratorium on REM train work
Deux-Montagnes mayor Denis Martin says the city wants CDPQ Infra to accelerate the pace of building the REM high-speed train system, but doesn’t favour calling for a moratorium on the work.
Martin C. Barry

In spite of demands by some Deux-Montagnes residents impacted by the impending closure of Exo train service that the city should support a moratorium on further REM train development, Mayor Denis Martin says Deux-Montagnes will be asking instead for the pace of work to be accelerated.

The Réseau de transport métropolitain’s Exo commuter train service between Deux-Montagnes and Montreal is slated to be closed in two stages — from Central Station into Du Ruisseau station from 2020 to 2022, and from Bois Franc to Deux-Montagnes stations between 2022 and 2023.

Transit chaos anticipated

Although the Quebec government has announced a $192-million plan for shuttle buses that will take most of the affected riders from the Bois Franc train station to the Côte-Vertu Metro station, there is widespread concern there will be chaos beginning in the new year when the current train service ends.

“The position of the city regarding a moratorium – I spoke with the people and the organization behind this – we think that it’s not the best of ideas,” Mayor Martin said in a statement at the beginning of the Oct. 10 city council meeting. “What we would prefer is an acceleration of the work rather than a moratorium.”

‘No’ to REM moratorium

According to the mayor, he and city officials discussed various points the residents raised, which he said were “interesting all the same,” while adding that a petition demanding the moratorium was signed by at least 300 people.

He said the position of the City of Deux-Montagnes, along with the MRC de Deux-Montagnes, the MRC Thérèse-De Blainville and the City of Laval is that they should work together to convince CDPQ Infra to shorten the length of time it takes to complete the REM project. “We are working on that particular point and we are hoping that we will get results,” he said.

In an interview following the council meeting, the mayor said, “Some people are asking for a moratorium and we’re not really in agreement with that. We don’t want to give them (CDPQ Infra) a chance to delay the work.

‘Need to move ahead,’ says mayor

“The mitigations that were announced are still a work in progress: as we’re moving along we’re still at work and still applying pressure for them to improve those measures,” he continued. “I don’t think that a moratorium will help. We really need to move ahead on that project – that’s the city’s position.”

Regarding what is probably the second-most pressing current issue in Deux-Montagnes – construction of the new anti-flood dike along the waterfront – the City of Deux-Montagnes says on its web site that it has been removing the temporary dike since mid-August and has permission from Quebec to make adjustments to the original dike project.

The dike route that was first approved and presented to lakeshore residents goes from 9th Avenue to 13th Avenue then onto Lakebreeze St. Although the route remains unchanged, the height of the dike is being raised to 25.71 metres (the originally-proposed height was 25.42 metres).

Flood dike progress report

As well, interlocked sheet piling is being added to prevent quicksand from developing. According to the city, these panels, forming steel curtains sunk into the ground, will provide more strength and much greater resistance to leakage.

The city says that following the major spring floods along Lake of Two Mountains earlier this year – and particularly the devastating impact they had in neighbouring Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac – engineers responsible for Quebec government dikes and dams developed a series of recommendations. The adjustments to the Deux-Montagnes dike are based on these findings.

The City of Deux-Montagnes maintains that the new dike will be completed and operational by the end of 2019 as planned. However, some finishing touches for esthetic purposes will be completed later on, they add. Various forms of public access to the waterfront are being planned and will be developed beginning in the spring.

Deux-Montagnes says ‘no’ to moratorium on REM train work
Keith Pattenden of 12th Ave. complained during question period that a sidewalk he uses daily was made dangerous by a public works crew.

‘Dangerous’ sidewalk

During public question period, Keith Pattenden of 12th Ave. complained to the mayor that a group of workers who altered a section of sidewalk on Du Lac Blvd. just west of 13th Ave. more than a month ago made it dangerous in the process.

As he uses the sidewalk twice a day every day all year, Pattenden said he found the change dangerous. “I think you probably will have some lawsuits if people fall down in the winter,” he said, because the sidewalk will be difficult to clear of snow the way it is now.

Mayor Martin said that he and other city officials, including Councillor Manon Robitaille who is responsible for Pattenden’s district, would be going to take an up-close-look at the section of sidewalk and determine whether action will have to be taken.