REM work, Mount Royal tunnel closure delayed due to COVID-19 outbreak

The closure of the Mount Royal tunnel and work on the Réseau express métropolitain (REM), Montreal’s upcoming light rail network, have been postponed due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

CDPQ Infra, the principal contractor for the project, said in a statement on Tuesday that the decision comes on the heels of the Quebec government’s sweeping measures to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“Following the latest directives from the Quebec government, all the REM worksites will cease operations until April 14 to ensure the health and safety of all,” the company said.

“We ensure a systematic and sustained monitoring of the situation with the relevant authorities.”

As part of the plan, trains will still run through the Mount Royal tunnel. The eventual closure is expected to disrupt service on the Deux-Montagnes and Mascouche train lines.

The REM work and tunnel closure were expected to begin on March 30 after it was postponed late last year.

The closure is expected to create a much longer and difficult commute for train users despite mitigation measures.

As a result, some companies had already set up satellite offices and implemented measures to help workers.

The light rail network will include 67 kilometres of tracks that will link Montreal, the south shore, the West Island and the north shore. It is expected to be completed by 2024.

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