• Roads and maintenance
  • REM

Replacement of the Russell Pedestrian Bridge over the REM: high-priced bids rejected, rehabilitation of existing structure planned

Town of Mount Royal, November 23, 2022 – Prices deemed too high led Town of Mount Royal Council to reject, at its November 22, 2022, regular meeting, the three bids it had received for the construction of a new pedestrian bridge to replace the existing Russell Pedestrian Bridge, located at the intersections of Russel/Canora and Devon/Dunkirk avenues. The Russell Pedestrian Bridge allows people on foot to safely cross the REM tracks. A public call for tenders had been issued on SEAO, the Quebec government’s online tendering system, in August, with bids being accepted until October 11.

Following the launch of the public call for tenders in August, a total of 18 firms requested the tendering documents, with Charex Inc. ($7.6 million), Construction Deric Inc. ($8.4 million) and Coffrages Alliance ltée. ($9.6 million) ultimately submitting a bid. Although all three firms met the technical evaluation requirements, in all cases the bids were significantly higher than the initial estimates prepared by professionals hired by the Town. According to the experts and consultants involved, the increases seen in the bids opened on October 11 are largely due to the continued overheating of the construction market and to the complexities involved in meeting the many technical constraints and requirements imposed by the REM.

In light of the bids received and favouring prudent management of public funds, the Town is developing an alternative solution to address residents’ needs and concerns. Plans are to upgrade the existing structure by rehabilitating it, improving its appearance and making it accessible to a wider range of users. A structural assessment of the bridge will be carried out in the coming weeks. Recommendations will then be formulated. A call for tenders for the rehabilitation work could be launched in the spring of 2023, allowing the constraints imposed by the REM to be met. The work to improve the bridge’s accessibility, such as installing access ramps, is planned for 2024, as this part of the project will not interfere with the operation of the REM trains.

The Town is also investing in the major project that will be the future Station Square, located between the Laird and Cornwall bridges in Town centre. Beside uniting the east and west halves of our garden city, the platform park will provide improved access for the pedestrians and cyclists who travel every day between the two sides. Work on the park is planned for the spring of 2023.