- 42km highway link to bypass Montreal and alleviate congestion.
- Public private partnership, 35-year concession on highway.
- Highway/bridge project includes two major 2km long bridges.
Public-private partnerships allow for private financing and management of major infrastructure projects like highways, tunnels and bridges. The A30 highway project in southern Quebec happens to involve all three.
The new 42km western section of the Autoroute 30 will alleviate traffic congestion by providing a southern bypass route around the island of Montreal. At the same time, it will improve access, ease congestion and promote economic development in the Monterogie, the southwest corner of Quebec province, and strengthen commercial ties to neighboring Ontario and the northeast United States.
Construction of the four-lane highway is scheduled to commence in Spring 2009 and finish in 2012, completing a highway link begun in the 1960s. The two-stage construction project involves a 35km western section between Cheteauguay and Vaudreuil-Dorion. A 7km section connects the road to Salaberry-de-Valleyfield.
The approximately C$1.5bn project includes two major bridge crossings - a 2.5km bridge over the Beauharnois Canal, part of the St. Lawrence Seaway, and another 1.8km in length over the St. Lawrence River - and a 100m tunnel beneath the Soulange Canal. Construction is expected to create about 19,000 jobs.
Quebec's Transport Ministry has several objectives for the completed A30 highway. First, the link had to serve as an effective bypass route through the metropolitan Montroal region to reduce congestion on the city's highway network. It also had to improve connections with existing highways in the region to create a more efficient high-speed network through southern Quebec. Finally, its design had to account for future population and business growth in the region, and its construction completed by 2012.
Arup's project staff, comprising teams based in Montreal, New York, the UK and Hong Kong, is working with the concessionaire consortium that will operate and manage the highway for its first 35 years. The designers are working within environmental considerations that include noise, drainage into navigable waters, preexisting contaminated areas, and protection of marshlands and wetlands. Designers also must factor in protections for endangered species of fish and their spawning grounds, along with frog and bird species whose habitats lie along the highway route.
Bridge design considerations include ship impact assessments, seismicity, wind, river hydraulics and ice. Highway design considerations include working in soft clay, short construction periods and cold weather conditions that significantly influence options for embankments, abutments and foundations.