Work starts on massive new STM garage in Rosemont-Petite-Patrie

The STM has broken ground on a massive three year project to build a multi-level underground bus depot and maintenance facility, along Bellechasse, in Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie.

The project, which is now in the demolition phase, spans two large city blocks, covering around 400,000 square feet of land enclosed by Bellechasse, the Van Horne viaduct, Gaspé and Saint-Dominique.

“The excavation is going to be pretty intense,” said Alexander Cassini, who lives less than a block away from the entrance to the site, on Casgrain.

“There’s going to be dynamiting and the bedrock is pretty shallow, so there is going to be a lot of noise,” he said.

Cassini is part of a group of area residents that manages the community garden across the street from the construction zone. The group is now demanding that it be given regular updates and and a seat at the planning table, as the project progresses.

“It’s not enough to just be consulted on the final product,” he said.

The group asked the STM to form a citizen oversight committee along with the City of Montreal, back in February, during public consultation meetings, but has not heard back since.

The STM will hold more public consultations later in the Spring, and told CJAD 800 in an email statement that it is committed to working with the public to ensure a smooth process.

Cassini says his group, which calls itself the Committee Citoyens Secteur Bellechasse, was pleasantly surprised last year, when the STM responded to citizen complaints about the projects’ plans, and added significantly more green space.

Now, for Cassini, the priority is cyclist and pedestrian safety.

“Just because of the construction nature, it might be more dangerous with the in and out of trucks and the moving of earth,” he said.

Bellechasse is one of the most heavily travelled roads for cyclists in the Rosemont borough, and one of the most dangerous.

A white ghost bike, marking the place where a cyclist was struck and killed, stands just a few blocks away, near the corner of Rosemont and Saint-Denis.

“We believe the city is on our side about this,” Cassini said.

A spokesperson confirmed that the city is working on mitigating the danger to cyclists caused by the work, saying its part of the city’s vision zero initiative.

The STM is currently studying the projects effects on circulation through the area.

The project’s completion date is expected to be some time in Spring 2022.