REMINDER: Ste. Catherine St. overhaul starts today

One of Montreal's main downtown arteries starts its major, multi-year face-lift today.

The first phase of the big Ste. Catherine St. project will see crews updating the sewer system, which dates back to the 1800s, between Bleury and Mansfield. It is expected to last until April.

From there crews will begin working on the street from Mansfield to Robert-Bourassa Blvd., with work scheduled to finish in August.

Several detours will be in place during the first couple of months, you can find them in the map below.

Work will take place on weekdays between 7:00 A.M. and 9:00 P.M., but crews could be called in to work 24/7 in order to meet contractual deadlines.

Pedestrians will be able to access the businesses and building on Ste. Catherine for the duration of the work.

Once the sewer system and improved access to the underground electrical network is complete, the beautification process will begin.

The project includes redevelopment of Phillips Square and Place du Frère-André, wider sidewalks, seating areas, smart lighting, charging stations for electric vehicles and free Wi-Fi.

All the beauty will come at a cost, to parking. The revamp is expected to eliminate at least 60 parking spaces.

While work is about to get underway some parts of the project have not been finalized. The original plans included heated sidewalks, an idea new Mayor Valerie Plante and her administration are second guessing.

"At the Place Vauquelin we have a warm sidewalk, and it's not working anymore because there's a break and it costs a lot of money to repair it" Executive Committee member Robert Beaudry told CTV Montreal.

The entire development project, repairing and revamping the 2.5-kilometre stretch between Atwater and Bleury, is expected to cost more than $130 million and last until 2021.

The city said financial assistance will be available for business owners who may be affected by the construction.