To inspire construction of green bridge, candidates invited to clean up the Saint-Jacques Falaise

For the sixth year in a row, volunteers gathered Saturday to clean up the Saint-Jacques Escarpment.

The green space hugs the south-side of Saint-Jacques St. in the Notre-Dame-de-Grace (NDG) borough, stretching nearly 2 km long.

Candidates from NDG and the Southwest borough were among those picking up trash, all of which was illegally dumped in the area.

They were invited to participate by Sauvons la falaise, a citizen group that aims to protect the Saint-Jacques Escarpment and connect it with other green spaces.

“We want to make sure that anyone that could possibly win the election knows what a jewel we have here," said the group's founder, Lisa Mintz.

Mintz hopes to inspire candidates and speed up the construction of a new bridge, a project promised to Montrealers over a decade ago.

“One of the main things that needs to be done is the Dalle Parc, which is a green cycling pedestrian bridge which links NDG with the southwest," said Mintz.

Located at the Turcot Interchange, Dalle Parc wouldn't be just any bridge -- its surface would become a lush, green landscape, to be explored by both humans and wildlife.

But according to Mintz, the city isn't moving fast enough to make this dream a reality -- and after helping out on Saturday, some candidates agree.

"People who are elected will have to speed things up," said Joe Ortona, independent candidate for the Loyola district.

Romean Alam, Ensemble Montreal candidate the Southwest borough, expressed concern over the amount of litter he found in the Saint-Jacques Escarpment.

"I'm disappointed that those things happened and people [are] just [throwing out] their tires. We have to have a plan, make action," he said.

Earlier this year, Montreal announced a green recovery plan which would inject $1.8 billion into parks like the Dalle.

NDG's Projet Montreal candidate, Peter McQueen, said he's been waiting for the Turcot Interchange to be completed so the Dalle Parc project can get underway.

"What NDG really wants is a way to ride down from Saint-Jacques St., get across the highway to the Lachine Canal and Angignon Park."