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November 2020 – Publication of the Commission’s report and the STM’s action plan
In February and March, a public consultation process took place in the form of several information evenings and input sessions. The goal of this community dialogue was to design a project that would integrate seamlessly into the lives of Montrealers.
The Commission leading this process has submitted its report and issued 43 recommendations that will allow us to enrich the project and produce infrastructure that meets the expectations of our customers and citizens. Both the Commission’s report and the STM’s action plan in response to it are available at www.stm.info/consultation.
There’s no doubt about it—the Blue line extension project is right on track!
This is it!
This fall, we will begin preparatory work for the Blue line extension in the area around the future de la Villanelle auxiliary structure. This marks an important milestone in the project’s progress.
The work will mainly involve relocating urban public utilities, giving us free rein to begin the massive excavation that will be needed to build the new infrastructure.
Other target areas
In the next few months, we will also begin work in three other locations, near the future Viau, Lacordaire and Langelier stations. Information on these worksites will be available a few weeks before the start of the work.
The information evenings and input sessions are now closed. We would like to thank you warmly for your relevant and useful comments. This dialogue with the community is essential to helping us design a project that will integrate seamlessly into the lives of Montrealers.
The Commission’s report will be available at stm.info/consultation this summer.
Two new teams of architects have started working on the drawings for the buildings of the future Viau and Lacordaire stations. These complete the design brigade which started work at the end of 2019. An initial draft of the architectural design of these stations will be presented to the public in spring 2020.
Teams of architects have started working on the drawings for the buildings of the future Pie-IX, Langelier and Anjou stations. By the end of the year, two other groups of architects will join the design team and create Viau and Lacordaire stations. An initial draft of the architectural design of these stations will be presented to the public in spring 2020.
In addition to conducting ongoing above-ground seismic surveys and boring tests all along the Blue line extension route, we are collecting geotechnical data at Saint-Michel station.
Our teams will be conducting surveying work on the Saint-Michel tail tracks to gather highly detailed data on the existing tunnel and plan the connection to the new extented tunnel. As the heat released by the trains stationed on the tail tracks interferes with the accuracy of the laser instruments used for surveying, we will have to close the tail tracks on September 21 and 22.
Minor impact on your trips at this station
As trains will not be able to pull onto the tail tracks to turn around, customers going toward Snowdon will exceptionnally have to board on the exit platform. The train will then switch tracks when it departs toward Snowdon.
As part of the input data collection, geotechnical tests have begun along the corridor between Saint-Michel métro station and Highway 25 in Anjou.
The purpose of the tests is to classify soil and rock in the selected 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. Seismic surveys involve sending waves into the ground along a conducting wire connected to sensors. This non-intrusive, quick, one-time method limits the number of boring tests required for classification that 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 locations of future métro stations or tunnels.
The current test involves extending lines over 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 inserted 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 receivers. 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.
The project in 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 equipments and operational infrastructures: 6 auxiliary structures housing operational equipment, 1 power station, 1 métro garage, 1 attachment centre for housing track maintenance vehicles, 1 service centre for infrastructure maintenance and a train control system
Proposed extension route
New infrastructures's location
Preparatory work: First worksite done!
Work being done near the future Villanelle auxiliary structure mainly consists of relocating urban public utilities (underground cabling and a Hydro-Québec utility pole). We will then have free rein to begin the massive excavation that will be needed to build the new infrastructure.
Here are some photos of the work we’ve done:
We relocated a Hydro-Québec utility pole, freeing up the space needed to build the new infrastructure on the southwest side of the intersection.
We also dug trenches to install cabling underneath the street that will be protected by red conduits. The cables will connect to the new electric utility pole.
We then poured concrete over the new conduits and ran the cabling through them, moving it from the other side of the street where it was in the way of building the new auxiliary structure.
- 2020: Submit business case, public consultation process to obtain by-law urban planning rules and preparatory work on certain sites
- 2021: Begin building new infrastructures
- 2026: Inaugurate the new line
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.
These decisions were made by the métro extension project office, made up of the Agence métropolitaine de transport (AMT) and the Ministère des Transports du Québec (MTQ), from 2011 to 2015. Their analyses led to the finalized design plan regarding:
- Locations of entrance buildings
- Bus terminals
- Park-and-ride lot
They used a method called multidisciplinary analysis (MDA), allowing them to examine the pros, cons and limitations of each option, from the perspective of each of the following disciplines:
- Métro operations
- Public transit and station access
- Urban integration and environment
- Work impact management
- Urban development
These in-depth analyses brought together the various stakeholders (the MTQ, the AMT, the City of Montréal and its relevant boroughs, and the STM) to finalize the design plan that we have today.
For more information and to see the benefits of the chosen options, see our summary (french only).
Our teams are currently conducting analyses to determine the type of train to be used based on the operational requirements specific to the Blue line extension. It is therefore still too early to say whether MR-73 (six or nine cars) or Azur trains will be used.
The offer of service on the Blue line will also be revised to take into account the increase in ridership.
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.
No, that is not part of the plan.
With the acquisition of the AZUR métro 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 extension of the Blue line and the Green line.
- A connection with the REM is planned for Édouard-Montpetit station to ensure a link with downtown.
Pursuing Envision sustainability verification
In line with our commitment to integrating sustainability best practices, we are pursuing Envision verification for this project. The Envision reference framework was developed to cover all the sustainable development aspects of an infrastructure project and each phase of its life cycle (planning, design, construction, operations and maintenance, and end-of-life). It is the top sustainable development tool in North America for major infrastructure projects such as metro and streetcar systems.
Verifying the project will allow us to:
- Consult and involve stakeholders
- Mitigate construction impacts on our community and environment
- Reduce the impacts of materials used (resource consumption and manufacturing emissions)
- Rehabilitate contaminated land
- Reduce operational impacts (residual materials, water and energy savings, noise and vibration reduction, etc.)
- Improve vegetation cover
- Improve the project’s resilience to climate change
To learn more, visit the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure Website.
The blue line extension project follows in the wake of the Déclaration du gouvernement du Québec et de la Ville de Montréal to revitalize Montréal East. Many projects are underway to give a new impetus to this sector. Increased mobility, economic development, and improved living environments are at the heart of this ambitious project. For more information, see Québec.ca/RevitalisationEstMontreal (in French only).