The idea of a tunnel linking the city centres of Quebec city and Lévis has consistently been evacuated by the authorities and the engineers, in the last decades, due to the effects “dramatic” anticipated congestion to Quebec.
This is the term used in one of the most recent studies carried out on the third link, at the turn of the years 2000, by the consulting engineering firm Tecsult (merged today to Aecom).
She had been commanded, at the time, by the Committee of the link sub-river to the east of Lévis-Québec, and is intended to update all of the earlier studies conducted over fifty years on a third link.
Over time, the project of a tunnel or a bridge-tunnel to the east, between the two banks, combined with the island of Orleans, was always the one that has been put forward.
“It is not surprising that the axis Orleans has been chosen “, one can read in the document sent to the ministry of Transportation 20 years ago.
“A direct link would have consequences too severe on the city centres to be retained, as have estimated various agencies in regional planning, such as the planning Commission of the communauté urbaine de Québec. “
“Not only that the link would be hardly adaptable to an adequate road network, but all link direct road would increase dramatically the congestion of the city centre by car “, says one.
One of the authors still skeptical
The Newspaper has traced one of the many co-authors of this study, who agreed to comment on the latest twists and turns in the folder of the third link, under the cover of anonymity.
Twenty years later, he remains a supporter of a bridge-tunnel to the east via the island of Orleans, the “solution more convenient and less costly,” according to him.
He does not believe the preferred route by the government Legault between the two city centres.
Not a good solution
“It has been looked at, but it has never been extensively studied. The entire traffic stream that one is going to pour, that is what we do with it ? Those who did the traffic study said : “I do not see how we can solve this problem-here.” Maybe they have found the solution today, but personally, I doubt it… I don’t think it is a good solution. “
“The biggest problem is the length of the tunnel and the arrival on Laurentian. The river channel is deeper also in this place that by the path to the island of Orleans. In my opinion, the costs are enormous. They will not have the budget to pay for it. The manner in which they are parties here, I tell you, there will be no project. They are trying to kill him, ” predicts the engineer retired.
The prefect of the MRC of Bellechasse, Clément Fillion, has served on the Committee of the link sub-river with other elected officials and the deceased mayor of Lévis, Jean Garon, at the end of the 90’s. He remembers very well, too, the skepticism of the MTQ, at the time, about the possibility of a third link connecting the two centres of the cities.
“The department was very skeptical. The plot of the island of Orleans had been chosen because even in the ministry of Transport, the difficulty of connecting it to the network we had brought them to the east rather than to get to the centre of the city. “
Today, despite the scale of the technical challenge, Clement Fillion said “very favourable” to the new path, which would allow Lévisiens and to the people of Bellechasse to go to the center of the city of Quebec and many places of employment more quickly.
He has confidence that the MTQ will be able to find solutions to ” connect it all to the road network of the city centre “.
Studies on the third link
- Between 1956 and 1979, at least six study reports have been filed regarding the need to establish a link interrives to a system of peripheral circulation in the greater Quebec city region.
- In 1968, the department of Highways unveiled a traffic plan that includes a bridge connecting the two city centres, in the area of the Old Port. The idea of a tunnel at this place is considered, but is ruled out due to the lack of knowledge of the bedrock under the river.
- The firm’s report Vandry, Jobin & Associés in 1979, is the largest to date and it focuses exclusively on the feasibility of a third link via the island of Orleans.
- At the end of 1999, the firm Tecsult file a report commissioned by the Committee of the link sub-river to the east of Lévis-Québec, which precludes any scenario for a tunnel connecting the two city centres.
- In 2016, professor Bruno Massicotte is conducting a feasibility study and assesses a third link to $ 4 billion. The only corridor being studied is to the east, via the south tip of the island of Orleans.