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Found 6 results

  1. ‘Major renovations’ planned for Guy-Concordia station Reported on December 13, 2011 With a well-publicized cockroach problem, extensive water damage and what look like stalactites dripping from the ceiling, Guy-Concordia, Montreal’s third busiest metro station, will receive some much-needed repairs next year. “This is a major renovation,” said Marianne Rouette, a spokeswoman for the Société de transport de Montréal. “Due to the station’s state of degradation, and on the recommendation of our inspectors, we chose to prioritize renovations at Guy-Concordia in 2012.” Calling the station “safe,” Rouette said that the repairs would be part of a recently approved $250 million program to repair stations “at the end of their useful lives.” Work is set to start in January, when the STM will double the number of turnstiles at the heavily used Guy Street exit. Used by the majority of the eight million riders who pass through the station annually, the new turnstiles will connect directly to two Concordia buildings. The station’s other exit will undergo yearlong repairs. As of March, access via St-Mathieu St. will be closed for six months as the exit’s doors, lighting, ventilation, and drainage systems are replaced. The STM’s neglect of Guy-Concordia stands in stark contrast with the area above the station, where gleaming new university buildings and an ever-expanding network of tunnels have put record demand on the metro. “The university doesn’t know much about what is going on with the metro station,” said Jean-Philippe Plourde. “We are always trying to find out more, but we haven’t had much shared with us.” Plourde, the co-coordinator at Allégo Concordia, a program established by the Quebec government to encourage sustainable transportation at the university, wasn’t aware of the pending plans to temporarily close the St-Mathieu Street exit. (Concordia University spokesperson Chris Mota said she was also unaware of the plans.) “Guy-Concordia doesn’t help with the whole image of going underground,” said Plourde. “It can be uncomfortably warm, unclean and people are often sleeping on benches. No one will stop using the metro because of water leakages, but it’s part of a larger problem.” According to Plourde, 14 per cent of Concordia’s 50,000 students and staff still drive to the university daily. “That’s a lot of people for a university with two campuses that are well connected by metro and multiple bus lines,” said Plourde, citing a university survey from 2008. His goal is to lower that number. As an example of the lack of coordination between the STM and Concordia, Plourde points to yellow tape that has stopped riders from using the station’s main Guy exit since October. The university has been renovating the pavilion built on top of the metro station but the exit is scheduled to reopen in January, the same time the transit authority plans to start its own renovations. “Concordia closed the exit for security reasons, because they were worried about all the foot traffic walking under construction,” said Plourde. “You would think that the STM would have used the opportunity to do some work, but they didn’t.” Plourde did not want to comment on the STM’s plans without more specific information, however he expressed concern about the lack of elevators in the renovations. Concordia University student and The Link columnist Riley Sparks (who's written about Guy-Concordia's cockroach problem) doesn’t have much faith in the proposed renos, which include a series of functional repairs to the station’s lighting and ventilation. The STM has been short on details about any aesthetic changes to fix the leaking walls and ceilings. “I’ll believe it when I see it,” said Sparks. “A bunch of metro stations have been under renovation for a while and based on the rate of repairs, I won’t hold my breath. “I don’t understand how the STM renovates stations. They shut down Villa-Maria all summer, it didn’t look great at the start of the summer and it didn’t look great at the end of the summer.” Under the STM’s current plan, access to the St-Mathieu St. exit will be closed from March 5 to August 26, 2012. http://montreal.openfile.ca/montreal/text/%E2%80%98major-renovations%E2%80%99-planned-guy-concordia-station
  2. Repairs to Hélène de Champlain building force eatery to shut Restaurant's owner plans to close it down when lease expires at end of 2009 ALAN HUSTAK, The Gazette Published: 8 hours ago The building that houses the Hélène de Champlain restaurant on Île Ste. Hélène needs massive repairs, and the restaurant will close for good in 16 months when its lease expires. Pierre Marcotte, the French- language television personality who has leased the red sandstone building from the city since 1983, says the property needs between $3 million and $5 million in repairs. "We have no choice but to close," he said. "The city has decided not to renew its lease after 2009 in order to undertake the repairs. That could take a year or more to complete. The electrical and heating systems are outdated, and major repairs to the building itself are necessary." Initially meant to be a sports pavilion, the island chalet was built during the Depression as a Quebec government make-work project. It was designed by Émile Daoust to resemble a Norman château, and the grounds were landscaped by Frederick Todd. It was turned over to the city in 1942 and in 1955 became a municipal restaurant, but didn't get a liquor licence until 1960. In 1966, Mayor Jean Drapeau had the building redone as the official residence for Expo 67's Commissioner-General, Pierre Dupuy. It also had a hall of honour next to the main dining room that was used by Drapeau as a reception centre for visiting dignitaries and heads of state. The reception for French President Charles de Gaulle was held in the chalet after he delivered his controversial "Vive le Québec libre" speech. Even though the restaurant proved to be a money-loser, Drapeau kept its five dining rooms open until 1977, when they were closed because of a labour dispute. They reopened in 1981. Marcotte said he does not plan to renew his lease, and no one is certain what will happen to the building once the repair work is done. In the past, there has been talk of converting the site into a hotel for high rollers at the Montreal Casino. [email protected] thegazette.canwest.com
  3. Roads safe, Quebec insists AMY LUFT, The Gazette Published: 7 hours ago Quebec's Transport Department wants drivers to know the province's highways are safe, despite a metre-wide pothole found on the Turcot Interchange. Still, the road damage reminded some that action needs to be taken quickly to ensure the safety of motorists. "It definitely enforces the point that structures are in bad shape," said Laval Mayor Gilles Vaillancourt, head of a coalition that wants better funding of infrastructure in Quebec. "The bridges won't be demolished tomorrow, but we need to make sure what remains is not in a beautiful state but in a solid state." Engineers have confirmed that the pothole discovered Friday on Highway 15, just north of the exits for Highway 20 and the Ville Marie Expressway, was simply the result of deteriorating asphalt and concrete and was not a structural issue, like those plaguing many Quebec roadways. "Of course, we'd like to reassure people of the safety of the Turcot Interchange," Transport Quebec official Nicole Ste-Marie said. "What happened (Friday) was not related to roadwork on other access ramps." Highway 15 through the Turcot Interchange was reopened to traffic at 7 a.m. yesterday after overnight paving between the exits for Highways 20 and 720 (the Ville Marie Expressway) and the Décarie Expressway. Two lanes were closed about 8:45 a.m. Friday when a motorist drove into the pothole, which ran one metre deep straight through the span. The lanes were shut for about five hours. One lane was shut again Friday afternoon because repairs could not be completed. Structural repairs are to begin tomorrow on 10 of the 12 access ramps to the Turcot Interchange. The work had already been scheduled this week to take advantage of reduced traffic during Quebec's construction holiday. Highways 15, 20 and 720 converge on the Turcot Interchange, which carries an estimated 280,000 vehicles every day. As for the rest of the province's highways and structures, Ste-Marie urged motorists not to worry. "We'll eventually be doing some repairs (to structures), but if there's a problem or safety concern, Transport Quebec never neglects to tell the public." Vaillancourt said he is satisfied with the measures being taken to maintain the overpasses before they are replaced or repaired. "I've discussed the issue with engineers and I've been reassured the upkeep is good," he said, adding that rebuilding the spans "is not going to happen overnight." Vaillancourt is head of the Coalition pour le rénouvellement des infrastructures du Québec. Its members include the provincial federation of municipalities, the Conseil du Patronat employers lobby, and industry and professional associations. Repairs are to continue as planned on the rest of Quebec's troubled overpasses. After the collapse of the de la Concorde Blvd. overpass in Laval in September 2006, which killed five people, and the subsequent inspection of 135 overpasses deemed to be in questionable condition, Quebec has budgeted $2.7 billion for roadwork this year. The lion's share is to be spent to repair or replace overpasses. It's part of a four-year, $12-billion investment to upgrade Quebec's crumbling infrastructure. Transport Quebec said in April the province would replace 25 overpasses and tear down three others. Major repairs on 25 more spans began at that time. At least three of the overpasses to be replaced are in Montreal. They include two on Highway 138 over Monette St. at the Mercier Bridge, both scheduled to be replaced by 2013, and one on Gouin Blvd. over Highway 19, to be replaced in 2009. The Dorval Interchange is to be torn down, though no date has been set. Transport Quebec wants to assure drivers the span is well maintained. "While it will eventually be demolished, right now we are doing sporadic repairs ... to make sure safety is maintained," Ste-Marie said, adding the Dorval Circle is to be reconfigured to ease traffic woes in the area, not because it is unsafe. As for the current state of Quebec's overpasses, Vaillancourt said he's a little nervous, despite the progress. "It's easy to know when there's a hole in the pavement, but it's hard to know when a bridge will collapse," he said. "You never know." [email protected] http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/story.html?id=b45ac453-fbf9-45aa-8380-c55e10568c42&p=2
  4. C'est peut-être le temps de déclarer la rue Sainte-Catherine piétonne sur toute sa longueur... http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/kitchener-waterloo/story/2013/08/05/montreal-sink-hole-ste-catherine.html Emergency crews are on the scene after a sinkhole opened up in downtown Montreal and swallowed a backhoe. It happened at about 9 a.m. ET at the intersection of Guy and St-Catherine streets. The hole is about eight metres long and five meters across. A section of St-Catherine Street has been closed to traffic. A city official said they received a call about a water leak at the scene on the weekend. Crews arrived this morning to do repairs and that's when the road gave way. "We think that the water leak was because of the sewer pipe. . .it's broken sewer pipe," said Emilie Miskdjian a spokeswoman for the Ville Marie borough. "That's what we think, but we will have to do an inspection to determine the cause." The driver was taken to hospital as a precaution. Engineers and representatives from the CSST, Quebec's workplace health and safety board, are now at the scene to determine the best way to remove the vehicle from the hole.
  5. Lords of Trafalgar okay $7-million condo facelift MIKE BOONE, The Gazette Published: 7 hours ago A 93-per-cent approval rating is difficult to achieve on this side of the Great Wall. But that's the vote Norman Glouberman got to approve repairs at the Trafalgar condominiums. Fixing the walls and roof of the 70-year-old building on Côte des Neiges Rd. above Cedar Ave. is going to take three years and cost an estimated $7 million. Glouberman, who chairs the eight-member Trafalgar board of administrators, got the okay from residents in 53 of the building's 57 units. Four dissidents are suing to contest the project, but the overwhelming majority has carried the day and work began in May. "The first information session did not go well - $4 million to $5 million for the masonry was a big shock for everyone," says Norman Glouberman, head of Trafalgar's board of administrators.View Larger Image View Larger Image "The first information session did not go well - $4 million to $5 million for the masonry was a big shock for everyone," says Norman Glouberman, head of Trafalgar's board of administrators. There's scaffolding up the Côte des Neiges side of the three-tower complex. Pallets of bricks and mortar are stacked amid luxury sedans in the courtyard. After leaving the keys to my unluxurious car with the Trafalgar doorman yesterday, I rode the vintage elevator, with its sliding brass grate door, up to Glouberman's fourth-floor condo. He and his wife have a seven-room, 2,200-square-foot unit, and Glouberman's share of the repair bill will be $170,000. Even at this elevated socio-economic stratum, that's not chump change. And no one turned handsprings - probably ill-advised at their age, anyway; two of the condo owners are 90-somethings - when residents were told the Trafalgar needed a facelift. "Unlike apartments, in a condo arrangement everyone has a say," Glouberman said. "Normally, people don't say anything. But when there's money involved ..." The Trafalgar was built - by the grandfather of Montreal restoration architect Julia Gersovitz - as apartment units in 1933 for $1 million. That was serious money in the Dirty Thirties. "The sad part," Glouberman said, "is I've been told that during the 1970s, which was really tough times for real estate, the building was sold for $1 million." That was then. The Trafalgar is evaluated at $55 million. A 3,300-square-foot condo recently sold for $1.4 million. Glouberman has lived there nine years. There's been minimal turnover - about 20 per cent in that time. Who would move? It's a honey of a location on the slope of Mount Royal, with dazzling views of downtown. Glouberman, who's an architect, walks to his Ste. Catherine St. office. Even great buildings start to crumble. The Trafalgar underwent masonry repairs in 1995, but a three-year renovation project was stopped after one year because residents didn't want to spend money on repairs that were not deemed necessary. That was a mistake. "We knew there were minor problems with the masonry," Glouberman said, "but not major problems." Three years ago, the condo board commissioned a thorough study of what ought to be done. The leaky roof could be repaired for $1.5 million and the garage could be fixed for $750,000. "But $4 million to $5 million for the masonry was a big shock for everyone," Glouberman said. "The first information session did not go well." No one - not even a rich downtown condo owner - likes a $150,000 repair bill. But almost every property owner realizes home repair is a good investment - especially in a high-class building like the Trafalgar. Not that it's perfect. The elevator remembers only the floor number pressed by the first passenger to board. Rosemary's Baby vibe notwithstanding, that's the charm of the Trafalgar: a 93-year-old resident drives her car, and the elevator has Alzheimer's. [email protected]
  6. Who else is tired of the non-stop traffic around town ? And few or no measures to redirect traffic proprely! All roads lead to headache as repairs, more cars pile up Published: 21 hours ago JASON MAGDER, The Gazette Published: 21 hours ago Joseph Simon has been driving a taxi in Montreal for 19 years, and he says traffic in the last few months is the worst he's ever seen. "My clients have left my car to walk the rest of the way; it's happened three times already," he said yesterday while sitting in his black Buick Century, waiting at a taxi stand on Metcalfe St. in front of the Sun Life Building. "Traffic has been terrible this summer." Several of his fellow taxi drivers agreed. "It's blocked everywhere this year," said Hayssam Hamad, a 12-year veteran who works for Diamond Taxi. "Every year, there is more and more traffic." Montrealers are used to road construction in the summer and fall, but it seems this year has been particularly difficult. In addition to construction on several major highways, many arteries in the city core also are under repair. Add to that the 135 inspections of road structures ordered by the Johnson commission investigating the causes of last year's overpass collapse in Laval, and you have a recipe for traffic mayhem. Mario St-Pierre, a spokesperson for Quebec's Transport Department, said there isn't more construction than usual. "But the construction maybe affects more people," he said. "Especially with the Ville Marie Expressway (which since June has had several lanes closed for repairs). It's very difficult to divert the traffic there." He added there are more cars travelling to and from Montreal than ever before. According to figures from the Auto Insurance Board, car ownership in the areas around Montreal shot up between seven and 11 per cent between the years 2000 and 2005. In Montreal, there were 3.1 per cent more cars in the same period. Yesterday, motorists had a double dose of gridlock to contend with during the morning rush hour. An accident forced the closure of the Montreal-bound lanes of the Mercier Bridge. To make matters worse, the Transport Department closed Côte de Liesse Expressway to and from the Dorval Circle for emergency repairs to the underpass that gives eastbound cars access to Trudeau airport, causing backlogs on Highway 20 westbound, an area usually free of traffic problems in the morning. Yesterday at 7:30 a.m., cars backed up for a kilometre on Highway 20, causing about a half-hour delay, said André Marcotte, the Transport Department's director of planning for the Montreal region. The traffic caused some people to miss their flights yesterday morning, said Christiane Beaulieu, the vice-president of public affairs for Aéroports de Montréal. Some airport employees also were late for work because the parking lot for employees is located where the worst gridlock occurred, she said. The situation eased slightly in the afternoon when westbound Côte de Liesse was reopened. Things should improve even more this morning as the eastbound part from Marshall Ave. to the Dorval Circle is expected to be reopened. The underpass will remain closed until tomorrow and eastbound traffic to the airport will be diverted onto Michel Jasmin Ave. (the expressway's service road) and the Marshall Ave. overpass. The underpass was one of 135 structures flagged for inspection by the Johnson commission. It was found to be structurally deficient. With just 20 inspections carried out so far, Montrealers can expect many more temporary road closures in the coming months. Back at the taxi stand, Hamad said he doesn't mind the highway repairs so much, it's the work being done in the downtown core that is really hurting him. "On the highway, there's just a bit of a delay where the construction is, and then it clears up afterward," he said. He added it has been particularly difficult navigating on de Maisonneuve Blvd., where a bicycle path is being constructed, and on Sherbrooke St. near Amherst St., which has been closed since June for repairs after a section of the road collapsed. There were several other problems downtown recently: part of Bleury St. was closed for a weekend this month. It's still off-limits for heavy trucks. A section of the downtown core was closed last month when cracks were found in a concrete slab in the underground city near the McGill métro station. One block will remain closed for the next few months while crews work to remove the slab and replace it. [email protected] - - - And looking down the road, there's trouble circling More traffic headaches are in store for Highway 20 next year, as the Quebec Transport Department starts work on the much-anticipated reconfiguration of the Dorval circle. André Marcotte, the Transport Department's director of planning for the Montreal area said an announcement of the $150 million project will be made in the coming months. Preliminary work will be done this year with the demolition of a derelict building near the Via Rail train station. The major work will start next year, for completion in 2010. The project will reduce congestion to and from the airport by eliminating the traffic lights in the Dorval circle, Marcotte said. Christiane Beaulieu, Aéroports de Montréal's vice president of public relations, said this is welcome news. "The No. 1 complaint we get about the airport is that it is difficult to access," she said. "This is very good news." The project has been delayed many times in the past. It was originally planned for completion by 2001.
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