The orange cones deposited in the city center for at least 16 years are not a unique case: La Presse discovered two other places in the metropolis in the same situation, Wednesday, while the mayor of Montreal expressed her dissatisfaction.

In addition to the access road to the Ville-Marie tunnel via rue de la Cathédrale1, the Ministère des Transports et de la Mobilité durable (MTMD) also leaves cones along the access ramps located rue Saint-Antoine and avenue Viger. In these cases too, the cones are present on all the images of the places archived by Google Street View since its beginnings, in 2007. Impossible to know if they were there before.

Rue Saint-Antoine and Avenue Viger are located just on the edge of the heritage site of Old Montreal, listed in the Register of Cultural Heritage of Quebec. The urban landscape is strictly regulated within this territory.

“The cones are stored in the right-of-way of the highway,” said Louis-André Bertrand, spokesperson for the Ministry, by email. During the “summer period”, they are placed there in order to proceed more quickly with the closure of the tunnel, on weeknights. “This allows Ministry teams to set up more quickly to begin their work and to limit the frequent delivery of beacons to the field. This is the case for all the entrance ramps to the tunnel which are closed,” he continued. Mission these nights: change some of the 6000 light bulbs illuminating the tunnel.

Questioned on the question, the mayor of Montreal criticized the ways of doing things of the Ministry of Transport and Sustainable Mobility.

“Obviously a case like this, where cones are left there ‘just in case’, is not good practice. We have to review this practice, ”she said on the sidelines of a speech. “I quite agree that they should be removed. […] It can be stored elsewhere and we can deploy them quickly. »

The administration of Valérie Plante has just held – with the Ministry and other players in the construction world – a summit on construction sites.

Glenn Castanheira, who represents merchants in the heart of Montreal as president of Montreal centre-ville, told La Presse that these two new cases were a symptom of a greater evil.

“This is clearly not an isolated case,” he said. We are facing a systemic problem. »

If the Ministry assures that its cones are only stored at the roadside during the summer, the photos of Google Street View rather suggest that they are there at least as early as April and at least until November.

On Wednesday, the accesses to the tunnel via Avenue Viger and Rue Saint-Antoine were already lined with cones, even if the frequent night closures will not begin until May.

The access cones from rue de la Cathédrale had disappeared. They were “removed [because of] a long break in work,” Bertrand said, without specifying what work it was.

The Ministry of Transport and Sustainable Mobility argued that its cones stored at the roadside did not harm anyone. “They are not […] in front of a building or a business, said Louis-André Bertrand. They also do not impede the circulation of road users. »

Does the Ministry intend to review its ways of doing things? MTMD radio silence.