The Government of Canada has made a commitment to support the community of Lac-Mégantic and the surrounding area, and to complete the rail bypass project.
Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau, provided an update on the most recent developments concerning the rail bypass to keep the public, the City of Lac-Mégantic and the neighbouring municipalities of Frontenac and Nantes informed.
Despite the many challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the project is progressing well, and a number of steps have been reached in recent months or soon will be.
- The feasibility study being conducted by the infrastructure firm AECOM will soon be completed, thereby ending one of the project’s key steps. The next phase, involving plans and specifications, will be able to begin this summer.
- The land acquisition process being carried out by Public Services and Procurement Canada is continuing despite the difficult situation caused by the pandemic and the resulting slowdown in services.
- Consultations with the Indigenous groups are going well. Transport Canada is working with the Waban-Aki and Huron-Wendat First Nations, who have expressed their interest in participating in the archaeological studies.
- Transport Canada, in collaboration with the Ministère des Transports du Québec and other partners, is working to incorporate into the project the environmental measures established by the Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement and those that will result from the environmental assessment of the project.
- Many additional studies have been conducted in recent months, particularly on the birdlife, to ensure that the project complies with the federal Species at Risk Act.
“The safety of our railways and the surrounding communities is a top priority for the Government of Canada. In the current crisis, which is creating considerable challenges across Canada, I am pleased to confirm that the Lac-Mégantic bypass project is making progress. Since the project’s launch, the Government of Canada has been committed to its successful completion while maintaining open communication with the people of Lac-Mégantic, Frontenac, Nantes and the surrounding communities.”
Minister of Transport
The Honourable Marc Garneau
On May 11, 2018, the Canadian and Quebec governments announced joint funding for constructing the Lac-Mégantic bypass. The choice of the final route is based on a number of studies carried out as part of the feasibility study overseen by the City of Lac-Mégantic.
The bypass feasibility study is being overseen by the City of Lac-Mégantic and funded by the provincial and federal governments (Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions). The study is being conducted by AECOM.
Funding to relocate rail operations from Nantes and Frontenac to the Lac-Mégantic industrial park will be provided by the federal government (60%) and the Quebec government (40%).