(Lévis) François Legault will announce within “a few weeks” a new “proposal” for the highway tunnel project between Quebec and Lévis. He neither confirmed nor denied the possibility of building a tunnel devoted exclusively to public transport, in addition to a tunnel for cars.

“As I said, we have had new traffic studies done, including the impacts of teleworking, which reduces capacity. In a few weeks, [Minister of Transport] Geneviève Guilbault will make a proposal, and we have nothing to add for the moment, “launched the Premier of Quebec on Tuesday, on the sidelines of a press conference. at the Davie shipyard in Lévis.

“I know you’d like me to tell you today what we’re gonna tell you probably in a few weeks, but we’re gonna tell you in a few weeks,” he added.

In the morning, Radio-Canada reported that the highway tunnel project between Quebec and Lévis, which is already in its third version, could be significantly modified. A tunnel would be reserved for the exclusive use of public transport, and potentially for the passage of a tram. A second stepped tunnel would be devoted exclusively to motorists. Trucks could not drive there.

These proposals would have been submitted during confidential meetings with employees of the City of Quebec and the City of Lévis.

Currently, the 6.5 billion plan calls for the construction of a “twin tube”, where each tunnel allowed the passage of motorists. For public transit, simple reserved lanes were to be set up during rush hour.

Would the federal government be more open to the idea of ​​funding infrastructure that is 100% dedicated to public transit? Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau, who accompanied Mr. Legault in the press conference, did not want to get wet.

“We’re always here to talk about projects that are important to local communities, we’re here to invest particularly in public transit. We will continue to look at the projects that will be submitted to us,” said Mr. Trudeau.

He added that “people are starting to understand how well our two governments are working together to deliver important projects for Quebecers and for the good of Canada.”

The first official announcement by the CAQ government in this matter, which occurred in May 2021, proposed a single 8.3 km tunnel which would be close to 10 billion dollars. A year later, in the spring of 2022, the Legault government presented a twin-tube project at 6.5 billion. Before his election, the Coalition avenir Québec advocated a bridge at the height of Île d’Orléans.

Last week, after the tabling of a provincial budget which did not propose any additional sum for this project, François Legault had defended himself from abandoning it, as suspected by the opposition parties. “I am still determined to make a third link,” assured the Prime Minister.

“First, my responsibility as a manager of public funds is to make sure that we look at all the up-to-date studies, among other things, the impacts of telework on… not just the impacts of telework during the pandemic, but after the pandemic on traffic,” Mr. Legault added.

However, his government can no longer guarantee that the estimated cost of the project will not exceed 6.5 billion. “As for the cost, there is always the notion of not influencing tenders. At the last announcement, we had spoken of 6.5 billion. When you give prices before launching the call for tenders, sometimes it can have an impact, “said Minister Geneviève Guilbault.