Blue line extension
A major public transit development project
The Bureau de projets prolongements et grands projets métro is getting work underway. Here are the key points of this major public transit development project.
A few numbers…
- 5 new accessible métro stations and 5.8 kilometres of tunnel
- 2 bus terminals and 1 park-and-ride lot with 1,200 spaces
- 1 underground pedestrian tunnel providing a link to the future Pie-IX BRT
- Several operational infrastructures: 6 auxiliary structures housing operational equipment, 1 power station, 1 métro garage, 1 attachment centre for housing track maintenance vehicles and 1 service centre for infrastructure maintenance
- Estimated budget: $3.9B
- Early 2019: Begin designing plans and specifications
- Spring 2019: Approve implementation method, budget plan and project scope
- Summer 2019: Geotechnical study to collect rock data
- Early 2020: Start zoning change and public consultation processes
- Spring 2020: Start preparatory work on certain sites
- 2021: Submit business case and begin building new infrastructure
- 2026: Inaugurate the new line
Geotechnical testing in two phases
As part of the preparatory work, geotechnical tests have begun along the corridor between Saint-Michel métro station and Highway 25 in Anjou. The purpose of the tests, which will take place throughout the summer, is to classify soil and rock in the targeted area in preparation for the construction of the underground tunnel and stations. The tests comprise two major phases, namely seismic surveys and boring tests.
1. The seismic surveys involve sending waves into the ground through percussion along a conducting wire connected to sensors. This non-intrusive, rapid, one-time method limits the number of boring tests, necessary to the characterization, which will be conducted in a second phase of exploratory work.
2. Boring tests allow us to obtain more detailed data on soil and rock conditions, such as their resistance and profile. These characteristics serve as input data for the engineers who will design the plans and specifications.
The location where the tests are performed does not necessarily correspond to the future métro station or tunnel location.
In the case of the current test, the lines extend over a length of approximately 40 to 70 metres, with sensors installed every 3 metres.
The cable is equipped with sensors that act as refraction wave receivers. The sensors are connected to the seismic line and slightly sunken into the ground or the road along the entire line.
The waves are sent into the ground every 10 metres by manually striking a 20-lb. (9-kg) sledgehammer against a steel plate on the ground. The plate and sledgehammer are connected to the seismic cable, sensors and receiver. The plate is struck several times to ensure that the waves are effectively transmitted all along the seismic line.
The geophysical technician measures the wave refraction data directly on site and ensures that the signals are clear. Subsequent interpretation of the data will help identify the characteristics of the rock.
A drilling rig is used to extract rock cores up to 60 metres underground, below tunnel level.
First, the road is cored for boring to take place. The operation is repeated at regular intervals along the six-kilometre route. The area will be restored after the tests have been completed.
Samples are taken either vertically or diagonally from the soil and rock, depending on the data sought by the geologists.
The soil samples collected are then analyzed in a laboratory to identify their properties and characteristics.
Frequently asked questions
The STM will act as the principal contractor and project manager. As operator of the Montréal métro for the past 50 years, the STM has expertise and experience that will benefit the project.
For the moment, no. Delivery of additional AZUR trains for the Green line will allow the STM to deploy more MR-73 trains on other lines. The MR-73 trains will run on the Blue line (current line and extension) until 2036, when the MR-73s will reach the end of their useful life.
Currently, it is not possible to have trains with more than six cars on the Blue line, specifically due to the configuration of the Saint-Michel station platform. After the extension in 2026, all Blue line stations will be adapted to accommodate nine-car trains, but, for now, the métro operation plan does not include running nine-car trains before 2036, when the AZUR trains will arrive on the Blue line. This could, however, change depending on ridership data.
With the acquisition of the AZUR cars and the construction of the Côte-Vertu garage, there will be an increase in the service offer on the Orange line in terms of capacity and frequency. The interval between trains on the Orange line will be two minutes instead of two minutes and 30 seconds during peak periods. Additionally, other major projects should mitigate the impact for Orange line users:
- The Pie-IX BRT, when completed, should provide a connection between the Green line and the extension of the Blue line.
- A connection with the REM is planned for Édouard-Montpetit station to ensure a link with downtown.
Yes, the new stations will be universally accessible and consequently equipped with elevators.
The names for the new stations have not been selected and will be subject to a process defined by the STM in due time.
This project is made possible thanks to funding from the Quebec and federal governments as part of the Public Transit stream of the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan.