NDG pedestrians and cyclists celebrate new bridge and park

Residents in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (NDG) and the South West are celebrating plans to create a new park around the Turcot interchange.

For years, people had been calling for a green space in the area and for provisions to connect different parts of the city. The project is still years from being a reality but those who’ve been fighting to have it built say they’re relieved.

Read more: Pedestrian walkway over Turcot Interchange gets green light

“Because everybody was saying no, no, no, you never gonna get it,” said Lisa Mintz during an event held near the site to celebrate.

Last year, plans to build the park were given the green light following public consultations.

Earlier this summer, the city reserved a 1.8-kilometre stretch of land on the old highway 20 for the park, between the new highway 20 and Notre Dame street.

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There will also be a bike and pedestrian path from the St. Jacques escarpment in NDG that will cross the new highway via a bridge, then cross the park to connect up with the Irwin street bridge over the Lachine Canal in Ville Emard.

“So that we can cross safely from Lachine to Montreal West and to NDG, because there’s no safe way to go north south,” Lachine Mayor Maja Vodanovic said at the event.

The park will form part of a link between the Lasalle, Lachine and the South West boroughs and NDG.  Residents who live in the area around the Turcot interchange say having this connection is necessary for those who need to get around.

“They are telling me I can’t get from NDG to the South West, it’s impossible without a car,” Mintz said.

Advocates say the 60-hectare park will also good for wildlife and will include wetlands and wooded areas open to the public.

“With climate change getting worse and worse and worse, the one thing that we can do in cities is optimize the nature that we have,” NDG resident Erica Brown said.

The date for construction of the park hasn’t been announced yet but residents expect it begin after work in the Turcot interchange ends next year.

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