Cost to expropriate Turcot Interchange land balloons

The expropriation of land belonging to the City of Montreal as part of the Turcot Interchange project has balooned and will cost much more than expected. 

Transport Quebec will have to pay the City some $34-million and not $5.3-million dollars originally anticipated. 

Montreal and Quebec City have only now reached the agreement to settle the old dispute. It's all over the price for the expropriation of lands along the edge of the Turcot interchange. 

In March 2011, the Province informed the City that it would need the land as part of the rehabilitation project for the highway structure. Quebec took possession of the land by the end of 2015 to start the work, but the question of the cost had been left unresolved. 

The case turned out to be thorny as the land was home to important facilities in the Southwest Borough, including a municipal service yard for city vehicles and storage of equipment. The City of Montreal has since been forced to find a new location for these.

Transport Quebec had offered $ 5.3 million to the City for the expropriation, the value of the land and buildings it hosted. This was deemed insufficient by the city, which cited the high costs of relocating its services. 

The discussions to reach an agreement have lasted nearly three years and both parties even had to go before a judge of Quebec's Administrative Tribunal. In the end, the two parties agreed on an amount of 34 million.  According to La Presse, the Plante administration endorsed the deal on Wednesday at an in camera meeting.

Transport Quebec did not want to comment on the agreement.  

The overall bill for the Turcot Interchange project is valued at $ 3.67 billion.