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Quebec closer to toll roads

MONTREAL, Que. - An invitation to companies to express their interest in a public-private partnership for the A25 extension in Montreal is the first concrete step in what could eventually lead to new ...


MONTREAL, Que. – An invitation to companies to express their interest in a public-private partnership for the A25 extension in Montreal is the first concrete step in what could eventually lead to new toll roads in Quebec.

In late November, Transport Minister Guy Chevrette announced the establishment of an office devoted to creating public-private partnerships. The offer of interest for the nine-km section of A25 between Autoroutes 40 and 440 is just the beginning of a process expected to result in a request for tender by autumn 2002.

The new office, and the passing of Bill 165 last fall, which includes standards for public-private highway partnerships and guidelines for establishing and collecting tolls, may also speed up the completion of A30, meant to be a ring road bypassing the island of Montreal.

A year ago, Chevrette said toll revenues from the A30 would be too meager to attract a private builder for the 40-km stretch of the A30 that remains to be built. Now though, Chevrette is more confident that a public-private partnership, with yet-to-be-received help from the federal government, could revive the project, which has languished for years.

The A30 extension would go to Saint-Timothee on Grand Isle and a bridge would cross the St-Lawrence to Les Cidres. The A30 would then join up with the 540, which is the north-south link between the A20 and the A40 to Ottawa and Montreal.

Transports Quebec has received a study it commissioned to evaluate the user and revenue potential for the A30 and the A25, but has not yet made it public. As for tolls becoming a reality, Marie Soteriades, who is with the Transports Quebec communications department, says, “They’ve talked about tolling but it has not been decided yet. We’re not there yet.”


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