After having to stop construction work on the REM sites on March 24th due to the Covid-19 pandemic, work gradually resumed this past May. Measures to ensure the health and safety of workers are still in place, but great progress is being made in the West Island area – including work on the future REM Fairview Pointe-Claire station.
West Islanders started to see The REM’s progress with their own eyes last year. Although the construction caused major headaches for commuters, with all the lane closures and detours, it was impressive to behold as parts of the structure became visible. Work on the elevated part of the structure, running from the Technoparc in Ville Saint-Laurent to Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue in the West Island was hard to miss. Foundation piles were driven into the ground and then the pillars were put up. Massive launching gantries ‘Marie’ (after Marie Curie Street in the Technoparc) and ‘Anne’ (nickname for Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue) were then put into action, lifting 50 ton concrete segments and then sliding them into place to build the structure where the tracks for the REM trains will be laid down. By December, it was clear that ‘Marie’ and ‘Anne’ were soon to meet in 2020.
Due to the nature of the present work being done, involving the installation of a ‘portal frame’ – a part of the elevated structure where it is supported by two pillars, requires the closure of Highway 40 West near Saint-Jean Boulevard. The first ‘box girders’ of the station that will receive the ‘platform slabs’ (where the tracks for the REM Trains will soon be laid) are being installed. You can watch a short video below, where you can also see the foundations of the station.
Highway closures due to REM construction
The closures will be on weekends only, during the day and at night, through to the weekend of October 24th-25th – with the first closure that took place on Friday September 18th at 10:00pm to Monday September 21st at 5:00am. A detour has been made available via the Highway 40 West service road, by taking the Saint-Jean Boulevard at Exit 52. An alternative to avoid the area is by taking HWY 20 if possible. Closures are planned as follows:
- Saturday, September 26th from 2:00am to Sunday September 7th at 7:00pm
- Friday, October 16th from 11:00pm to Monday, October 19th at 5:00pm
- Saturday, October 24th from 5:00am to Sunday, October 25th at 10:00pm
- During the first closure (Phase 1), the work involved the lifting of the portal frame. Phase 2, requiring the concreting of the structure, will continue this weekend September 26th to 27th and there will be more work done the following weekend. In Phase 3, the portal frame will then be dismantled. An extra weekend has also been planned, in case any finishing work is required after the portal frame has been dismantled.
Fairview-Pointe-Claire is the first aerial station to be built on the West Island line. To date, the work achieved in the West Island includes; 6 kilometres of aerial structure completed over 14.5 kilometres, 1770 segments installed over 4102 and 260 pillars built out of 367.
The first REM trains are expected to start running from the South Shore to Bonaventure-Central Station in 2021. Other branches will gradually come into service in 2022-2023.
IMPACTS AND MITIGATION MEASURES: As with any construction site, the work will generate impacts such as noise, vibration, dust, heavy truck traffic and traffic disruptions. Mitigation measures will be implemented to minimize these impacts. The REM project office and the NouvLR consortium will endeavour to prevent or minimize the impact on surrounding residents as much as possible and ensure safety by implementing all appropriate measures.
*Work will be carried out during the day and at night. Work before and after this time period will be necessary to mobilize and demobilize all the elements required to perform the work and to clean up the site. Noisy work will be concentrated in the daytime and evenings. Due to the nature of the activities being performed, work cannot be interrupted while it is in progress. It must be completed in order to maintain the integrity of the existing infrastructure. Should this situation arise, the work period will be extended to complete the work already begun. **The current sequence and dates are subject to change without notice. See MAP for closure and detour.
Feature image: Example of a portal frame at Point St Charles.