Greater Montreal is one of the few large metropolitan areas in North America that do not have effective beltways (or ring-roads) surrounding the metropolitan region. This situation prevents passing vehicles from bypassing the inner parts of the city. There were plans to build two partial beltways north of Montreal (Autoroutes 440 and 640), but certain sections were not completed for various reasons and do not provide a complete bypass. As a result, long-distance freight trucks passing Montreal are forced, at present, to use highways like Autoroute 40 that are perennially congested and not sustainable. A solution to this is to build new roads that would make bypassing central Montreal a more viable option.
To that end, two new segments of Autoroute 30 are emerging south of Montreal Island, between Autoroute 20 to the west, and just beyond Autoroute 15 to the east, as an extension of the already-existing Autoroute 30. (A small segment of Autoroute 30 in between the two new portions was built in 1990 to bypass the Kahnawake Indian Reserve.) With these two segments completed, Autoroute 30 would provide a bypass for through traffic around Montreal.
The segments are as follows:
- The eastern segment, 12.2 kilometres (or 7.5 miles) long, was planned and constructed as two sub-segments:
- One between the Kahnawake bypass highway and Autoroute 15 (completed in 2010);
- One between Autoroutes 15 and the existing Autoroute 30 (completed in 2011);
- The western segment, stretching from Autoroute 20 to the Kahnawake bypass highway, is 35 kilometres (or 21.75 miles) long and is to be completed in late 2012.
The highways are under a public-private partnership, in which the Quebec Ministry of Transportation is responsible for much of the project’s design and construction, and the Nouvelle Autoroute 30 private-sector engineering consortium is responsible for the rest of the design and construction as well as all the operation of the highway. Various federal Canadian ministries (e.g. Transport Canada) are also financial partners in this project.
Are public-private partnerships a viable way to construct and operate a highway system?
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