Montreal revitalizes its downtown entrance with the help of The S.M. Group International Inc.
Infamously known as an urban scar, the elevated structure built in 1966 to support the Bonaventure Expressway has given way to an urban boulevard combining aesthetics, transportation efficiency and a better quality of life for citizens. The S.M. Group International Inc. has lent the expertise of its urban planners, transportation and intelligent mobility experts as well as urban infrastructure specialists to what is considered an exceptional project.
The redevelopment of the area delineated by Wellington and Notre-Dame Streets to the south and north, and Nazareth and Duke Streets from west to east, is part of a major rehabilitation of the City’s entrance. This new vision has been implemented through strategic interventions to support the revitalization of the Griffintown and Faubourg des Récollets neighbourhoods. These projects include the reconstruction of the Turcot interchange and the new bridge over the St. Lawrence River, two projects in which The S.M. Group International Inc. also is involved.
The City of Montreal, owner of the land in question, decided to replace the existing elevated highway with a ground level urban boulevard. The site recovered by the demolition of the pillars, between Nazareth and Duke Streets, led to the creation of a series of multi-purpose public spaces, which was the subject of a considerable greening effort. In order to minimize heat islands and manage rainwater ecologically, most of the developed area is covered with non-mineralized materials. More than 220 trees have also been planted along the boulevard and in the public spaces.
The S.M. Group International Inc.’s Infrastructure and Development team was mandated to develop the preliminary and final designs for civil, mechanical, electrical and structural engineering, analyze and design the configuration for the intelligent transportation systems conduct topographic surveys, to provide technical support during the tendering process for each construction lot, and oversee the construction.
During the scope of this project, the Urban Infrastructure team faced several challenges. A major snow chute was moved to the adjacent industrial area during the redevelopment of the underground infrastructure. Our specialists have also succeeded in designing the lighting to be not only functional but aesthetic enhancements of the structural elements of the access and exit lanes of the A720 motorway.
Through the Bonaventure project, the City hopes to improve the mobility in this sector by taking into account the needs of local and transit traffic of motor vehicles, as well as the many pedestrians and cyclists who are visiting the downtown area. Bicycle corridors, dedicated bus lanes, equipment for public transit users and wide sidewalks respecting the principles of universal accessibility have been put in place.
In order to achieve the city’s transportation objectives, The S.M. Group International Inc.’s Transportation and Intelligent Mobility team focused on optimizing traffic management in the sector. The different light plans designed by our specialists for each of the ten intersections include an optimal phasing, timing and synchronization management system that adapts to the data transmitted by line-up and incident detectors and thermal cameras. The A-720 Tunnel exit has also been connected to this intelligent system. Priority lights have equally been installed in order to accommodate the 200 plus buses per hour that use the boulevard during peak periods.
For The S.M. Group International Inc., optimizing mobility, implementing intelligent transportation principles and building infrastructure that are both efficient and well integrated into their environment are three founding practices for creating quality urban environments. Consistent with the City’s aspirations, the Bonaventure Project is an excellent example of how these guidelines can be applied.