The fourth route for the Lac-Mégantic downtown railway bypass is supported by the Coalition of Citizens and Organizations Committed to Railway Safety, which congratulates the mayors of Lac-Mégantic, Frontenac and Nantes for having agreed on this option, that is, the modified route number one.
“For the Coalition, it remains very important that the final route be discussed, negotiated and a satisfactory consensus for all the populations of the three communities concerned … There is a glimmer of hope as to Agreement. The first objective is to protect the population and the habitats of life today, “said Robert Bellefleur, spokesperson for the Coalition.
Robert Bellefleur believes that a new modern layout will mitigate the risks of many for future railway tragedies.
“Our biggest risk factor in Lac-Mégantic is the steep slopes and curves, both in Nantes and Frontenac, which go down into the basin and expose us to other tragedies even in the new center -city. Trains are still stationed in Nantes, the highest point in Quebec for the railway. We must stop polarizing this around bell towers and villages. It concerns us all, we all lost someone directly or indirectly in the tragedy. ”
“We must also think that this project is aimed at the entire MRC du Granit, which does business in Lac-Mégantic, which often comes to the city center,” he continues. There are still several families which have been tragically affected; It is a collective project. The Lac-Mégantic derailment is not an isolated incident. Because before July 6, 2013, there were nine railway disasters that can be described as tragedies. After Lac-Mégantic, in Canada and in the United States, there were twenty! ”
Mr. Bellefleur also highlighted the economic benefits of a new route for the region: reduced health care costs, the withdrawal of nine grade crossings eliminating the long expectations of motorists when passing trains, revitalizing the reconstruction of the new city center By liberating strategic spaces such as railways, increasing the property tax, encouraging the development and economic development of the industrial park, and so on. “The project validates itself at virtually zero costs. ”
“This stems from AECOM’s study of costs and benefits. These benefits reimburse all the costs of the track, and even for the railway, it has advantages, such as an end to the downtown core, which saves time and money. ‘money! ”
AECOM’s feasibility study suggested three routes, the number one of which seemed to retain the authorities’ favors and was valued at approximately $ 115 million.