Autoroute 50: Two lanes for the foreseeable future New section designed for four-legged travellers, too P OINTE - AU -C HÊNE

The engineer in charge of the Scotch- Avoca leg, Florin Pauna, speculated that by 2022, volumes may be heavy enough to warrant a four-lane road. He noted that in order to accommodate two more lanes, a second bridge would have to be built to span the Rouge River, a major venture. Papineau MNA Norm MacMillan has noted that there is now talk of expanding the Lachute-Mirabel link to four lanes. Charest observed that volumes on the Argenteuil road would continue to be affected by the four-lane Highway 417, which is a popular route for people travel- ling between the Outaouais region and Montréal. The 50 has been touted as a major asset for Argenteuil. Construction of the newest portion presented some large challenges, primarily because of the Rouge.

The completion of another link in Autoroute 50 is cause for celebration. However, the festive spirits have been tempered by the knowledge that the highway will remain a two-lane route for the foreseeable future. The opening of a 18-kilometre leg between the Scotch Road in Grenville-sur- la-Rouge and the Avoca Road in Pointe-au-Chêne is a step closer towards completion of the highway between Argen- teuil and the Outaouais district. The long-awaited project is scheduled to be completed in 2012. But a four-lane highway is not on the drawing board. During the inauguration of the newest section, Premier Jean Charest said that the traffic volume on the road would not justify the widening of the road.

Before work was undertaken, hearings conducted by the Bureau d’audiences pu- bliques sur l’environnement identified a number of areas meriting consideration. The original plan was amended in order to reduce the number of farms that would be cut in two. Two farmers saw their lands split; access points were built along the road permitting them to reach their properties. A tunnel has been installed to permit fish to continue their patterns in the Calu- met river. In the Montée Boucher district, an artificial marsh was created to replace a natural swamp destroyed by construction. The government says that in order to mitigate the job’s environmental impact, crushed stone was used from rock faces that were dynamited.

The new bridge is an imposing struc- ture, towering 74 metres above the river. Built towithstandearthtremors, theconcrete span is 378 metres in length. Deer underpasses The autoroute was also built with four- legged travellers in mind. The Québec transportation ministry designed the road with the goal of maintaining habitat for the many deer that live in the district and ensuring the safety of motorists. Fences 2.4 metres in height have been erected for a distance of 30 kilometres, and underground passages for deer have been installed. There are five such underpasses, which measure ten metres wide by five metres high, permittingdeer touse their customary paths.

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Bonjour à tous Depuis 25 ans, Guy Duchesne, de la région parcourt les festivals et les expositions avec son restaurant. Cette année, il sera parmi les exposants au Concours de labour qui aura lieu du 20 au 24 septembre à Chute-à-Blondeau. Vous pouvez le trouver sous le chapiteau bien visible orange et blanc, lot 58 rue 4 A, Restaurant Chez Guy. Guy invite les gens de la région à venir se régaler. Un gars bien de chez nous!

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