Proposed REM de l’Est LRT project now includes an 8.5-km tunnel

Sept. 9, 2021
CDPQ Infra says the tunnel is the only viable option due to a mix of factors from the water table to the area’s geology and construction hazards.

CDPQ Infra, a subsidiary of Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, has updated its proposed REM de l’Est light-rail project to include an 8.5-km (5.3-mile) surface tunnel following two technical studies that evaluated various options.

The proposed light-rail project would build 32 km (19.8 miles) of track, serve 23 new stations and serve as a link to the east end of Montreal. The tunnel would begin at Jeanne-Mance and continue to Robert-Bourassa Boulevard. CDPQ Infra says the inclusion of the tunnel in the project enhances project integration and will improve frequency once the line is operational because it adds a tail track.

CDPQ Infra commissioned two assessment reports on its proposed route—one report by AECOM-Systra and another from Geocontrol. The company says both reports evaluated the impacts of buried public infrastructure, the impacts of the existing yellow and orange metro line tunnels, the area’s geology, construction hazards and the presence of the water table.

The update to the project comes nine months after it was first unveiled and follows CDPQ Infra’s first phase of public outreach, which collected more than 1,600 comments from more than 32,000 people.

The project’s budget and schedule will be updated to reflect the addition of the tunnel, with the goal to present a proposal for urban and architectural integration along the REM de l’Est’s complete route to citizens and partners by the end of 2021.

“The REM de l’Est will transform mobility services for hundreds of thousands of residents in Montréal’s eastern communities by providing a fast, frequent and reliable link between downtown Montréal, CÉGEP Marie-Victorin and Pointe-aux-Trembles,” said President and CEO of CDPQ Infra Jean-Marc Arbaud. “CDPQ Infra remains firmly committed to building an outstanding project that everyone can be proud of. With that in mind, today we are presenting a major enhancement, further demonstrating our commitment to the continuous improvement of this large-scale public transit project while ensuring its feasibility with a responsible approach.”

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.