Quebec Crumbling

After decades of neglect, the infrastructure in the Canadian province of Quebec is in such bad condition that drivers are nervous going through tunnels and over bridges.

It's been a nervous summer for drivers in Montreal. The bridges are visibly aging, a pothole swallowed the front of a bus and a slab collapsed in a freeway tunnel. While extensive repair work is underway across the province, polling is showing that people aren't trusting government assurances about the safety of the province's infrastructure. As the Globe and Mail reports,

"Montreal went through a building boom during its growth-spurt years in the 1960s and '70s, and the concrete poured into the era's new roads and bridges is reaching the end of its 40-year shelf life. Unfortunately, successive governments failed to follow up with unglamorous upkeep. Inadequate infrastructure spending is a problem in cities across Canada, but seems to have affected Quebec more acutely. After the 2006 collapse of the de la Concorde overpass in Laval, which killed five people, a commission headed by former Quebec premier Pierre-Marc Johnson found that nearly half of all bridges in the province were structurally deficient and needed replacement within five years. By comparison, the problem afflicted about a third of Ontario bridges and one in 10 in the United States.

[L]ast Sunday, a 30-ton concrete beam fell across four lanes of traffic inside a tunnel on the Ville Marie Expressway, a critical downtown artery...Following the tunnel breakdown, the government began installing steel supports to shore up the structure. The tunnel is scheduled to reopen this weekend – for those daring enough to drive through it."

Full Story: Montrealers unnerved by a city collapsing around them


Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

The Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs is the only comprehensive ranking and listing of graduate urban planning programs available.
Starting at $24.95

Wear your city with style!

100% silk scarves feature detailed city maps. Choose from five cities with red or blue trim.
T-shirt with map of Chicago

Show your city pride

Men's Ultrasoft CityFabric© tees. Six cities available.