The third highway link project would have cost around 10

The third highway link project would have cost around $10 billion

Transport Minister Geneviève Guilbault confirms that a tunnel between Quebec and Lévis, also intended for cars, would have cost between 9.5 and 10 billion dollars and reiterates that the decision to abandon the section of the motorway was made only recently, months after the election campaign.

“It was a very, very difficult decision,” she said at a press conference on Thursday. “Politically, it’s difficult for my fifteen colleagues and me. So there is nothing triumphant about what I am telling you here. »

Ms Guilbault had been sent alone to defend the new version of the project in the small Évelyn-Dumas room of Parliament. A sobriety that contrasted with the large press conferences orchestrated on the popular original project in the past.

According to him, the project would have cost between $9.5 billion and $10 billion if the government hadn’t put the brakes on it.

While the opposition suspects the Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ) of misleading people during the election campaign, Ms Guilbault claims that it was not until late March that she received the “updated data” that convinced her to scrap the project.

“During the campaign, we always had the same answer: we wait for data updates, especially travel times,” she said. The minister argues that the department promised her dates after the holidays, but these were “not to her satisfaction”.

This data shows that between 2019 and 2022, rush hours between the two banks “all decreased”. “We have to take that into account,” she says. The number of cars on the Pierre Laporte Bridge fell from 55,300 to 46,500, according to the Ministry of Transport.

The minister also claims that a motorway tunnel would have been ‘cannibalized’ by the public transport tunnel because motorists would have switched to active modes of transport.

More details to come.