Monday, May 29, 2023

3rd link: 10 minute gap to complete $10 billion project

Improving travel times between downtown Lévis and Quebec would therefore be the “essential element” that prompted François Legault to abandon his promise of a third road link. Actually, we’re talking between 4 and 11 minutes, according to government studies.

• Read also: Third Link: Contradictions in the Caquist Ranks

• Read also: Revised cost of third episode: Opposition parties do not believe in François Legault

• Read also: Third link: ‘I don’t consider it a broken promise,’ says Legault

“I told you from the beginning. The essential element is the travel time. What we feel is that the travel time by car has been greatly reduced,” the prime minister reiterated while replying to reporters on Thursday.

If we look at the 6,000 new pages of documents made public when Geneviève Guilbault confirmed that the third link would be dedicated exclusively to public transport, we see that before the pandemic, you had to spend ten more minutes in your car . from the city center to the other, crossing the river by two existing bridges.

From Lévis Convention Center to the Quebec City Convention Centre, travel time during morning rush hour, which was 39 minutes in 2019, has increased to 30 minutes in 2022, a difference of 9 minutes.

During the afternoon peak period, it used to take 28 minutes to cover the same 26 km distance, whereas now we are talking about 24 minutes, an improvement of 4 minutes.

If we take all the routes analyzed at the request of the Legault government to measure the effect of teleworking on travel habits, we see that the average gain is 9.4 minutes in the morning and 6.5 minutes in the afternoon.

As far as travel times in public transport are concerned, which for François Legault is “too high” – which justifies a third link without cars – we also note that “an improvement […] 2019 to 10 minutes”.

“Impossible No One Is Bound”

And “if today’s figures were from before the pandemic, would you do it, third episode”, asked François Legault from Marc Tanguy during Wednesday’s budget appropriations study.

“Yes,” the CAQ leader replied to the interim Liberal leader twice instead of once.

“Could I have known 6 years ago that there would be a pandemic? Then observed Mr. Legault. Can I predict that the average travel time figures for the year 2022 will be much lower than in 2019? I could not have foreseen this. So impossible, no one is bound. ,

must have cost a lot

Apparently, among the factors that ultimately led him to make the difficult decision to abandon the highway portion of the Quebec-Lewis tunnel project, “isn’t just the pandemic,” the prime minister acknowledged. Expenses were also weighed in the scales. When the third “twin-tube” link was unveiled in April 2022, the project was estimated to cost $6.5 billion to complete.

Even though a summary estimate of the cost of building a tunnel dedicated to electric buses or tramways was specified in a preliminary study available to the government, François Legault refused to reveal the range until the mode of mass transport was determined. It doesn’t happen.

Since 2018, contracts totaling $58.76 million have been awarded for various studies, including opportunity, pre-project and environmental impact studies, in addition to land surveys and geotechnical drilling.

Of this amount, $28.78 million was spent by the Third Link Project Office mainly on “remuneration and professional fees”, François Legault reported on Wednesday.

“These are investments that will be very useful for the project that we are looking at, the Quebec-Lewis public transit tunnel,” argued the prime minister.

François Legault in a press conference at the National Assembly

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