As if underscoring how much spare time I have, I’ve tinkered over the past few weeks with some data that the city has put out about planned road construction this summer. A copy of the PDF listing the projects is on The Gazette’s site. They used it to create a searchable database of the projects, which intern Megan Martin introduced in Friday’s paper. My approach (which began before I knew my paper’s online department had a similar idea) was to just dump the data into Google Maps and see what kind of overall map emerged. It involved a lot of cutting and pasting and a lot of tweaking, but I just finished it now.
Starting next Monday, what’s been described as a “first in this country” construction project will be undertaken on the Honoré-Mercier Bridge. It involves 1,300 prefabricated concrete panels which will replace the bridge deck in a way that is designed to minimize traffic disruption.
In other words, they’re going to replace a bridge without closing it to traffic.
It’s not quite so simple (there will be night work that requires rerouting traffic), but it’s still pretty impressive.
The first stage starts on Monday, when the ramp for the 138 East (from Châteauguay) is closed and replaced. Traffic will be sent along a side road to the other approach on the 132. The other three ramps on the southern side will be replaced one by one, and then work will begin on the bridge itself.
What’s impressive about this operation to me though isn’t the construction, but the communications. A (fully bilingual) special WordPress-based website has been setup (complete with RSS feed and question-and-answer forum), and there are Flickr, YouTube and Twitter accounts to make sure everyone is aware of what’s going on and can share information easily. Unlike what you see with most marketing campaigns, these tools are used quite effectively.
This YouTube video shows the steps that will be taken over the coming weeks to replace the southern access ramps. It’s long, but it’s clear.
The Georges-Vanier metro station will be entirely closed this summer (June 2 to Sept.5) as the STM demolishes and reconstructs parts of the station inside and outside (STM !NFO PDF). In its place, a shuttle between Lionel-Groulx and Lucien-L’Allier (or a few blocks from Lucien-L’Allier anyway) will run every 10 minutes from the opening to closing of the metro. Trains will slow down through the station but won’t let anyone off there.