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Mont-Royal tunnel closing postponed
No change to REM global schedule
CDPQ Infra, a subsidiary of Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, announced today the conclusion of a work optimization agreement with NouvLR, the consortium building the REM. This agreement reinforces the delivery schedule for the overall project while adjusting certain aspects of the work, which continues to move forward at a sustained pace.
Accordingly, the closing of the Mont-Royal tunnel will be postponed until March 30, 2020, so that the consortium can improve its preparation for the work to be done on this part of the project. This postponement will not impact the total time the tunnel will be closed or the overall timing for commissioning thanks to an acceleration of work on all branches. It will also remove one winter season from the period during which alternative public transportation measures will be implemented.
In addition, this agreement is an active response to challenges identified during the first 18 months of work, including:
- Timely access to sites and infrastructure necessary to deliver the project across Greater Montréal, where there are multiple work sites in operation simultaneously.
- An increase in the pace of all design work carried out by the consortium for the project to be delivered within the planned global schedule.
- The availability of the labour necessary to deliver the REM in a stressed job market. Over the course of the project, 34,000 positions will be required to execute the REM work.
The work optimization and response to challenges addressed by the agreement result in a 3.6%, or $230 million, adjustment to the REM budget. The project’s total construction cost is now $6.5 billion and maintains returns within the 8-9% range.
Given the priority placed on respecting the overall schedule, execution milestones have also been defined as performance conditions in the agreement concluded with NouvLR, particularly with regard to the Mont-Royal tunnel. The payment of portions of the amounts announced today will thus be conditional to these milestones being achieved. The new agreement therefore follows the principles of rigour and the best value for money applied by CDPQ Infra from the very start of the REM project.
Fare reduction measures
To provide riders of the Deux-Montagnes line with more predictability in the context of the postponement of the Mont-Royal tunnel closing, CDPQ Infra will implement fare reduction measures at the beginning of 2020. Specifically, CDPQ Infra will provide riders with a free monthly fare for January and up to 30% off the cost of monthly TRAIN and TRAM fares from January to March. The total cost for these two measures will be fully incurred by CDPQ Infra.
About CDPQ Infra
CDPQ Infra is a wholly owned subsidiary of Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, a long-term institutional investor with CAD326.7 billion in net assets as of June 2019. CDPQ Infra is responsible for the development, funding and operation of large-scale infrastructure projects, including the Réseau express métropolitain (REM). The REM is a new, 67-km integrated public transit network that will link downtown Montréal, the South Shore, the West Island (Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue), the North Shore (Deux-Montagnes) and the airport in a unified, fully automated LRT system.
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