ÉPISODE 1 | Connecter le passé, construire l’avenir | Destination REM

Destination REM Episode 1:
Connecting the past, building the future My name is Jean-Philippe Pelletier, I’m the Assistant Director
for the REM project realization. The Édouard-Montpetit station has been
in Montréal’s collective imagination since the blue line was created
in the 1980s. The architect behind the STM station,
Patrice Gauthier, saw an opportunity to use
the Mount Royal Tunnel and take advantage
of this mixed-mode transportation. The current REM project
is a nod to that idea, we’re trying to create
that connection. It will completely change
Montréal’s geography. The mountain will virtually disappear. In three minutes you’ll be able to get from the UdeM campus
to the McGill campus, even access downtown Montréal
and Central Station. We’re meeting up
with two Polytechnique students who’ll join us at the Édouard-Montpetit site to see how the project is coming along. My name is Bilal Ibrahim, and I’m doing a bachelor’s
in civil engineering at Polytechnique I’ve lived on Édouard-Montpetit
for four years now. My name is
Marie-Hélène Asselin, I’m 25. I did my B.S. in civil engineering
at Polytechnique, and I’m excited to see what we learn
in school being applied here. I love talking about what I do. I think it’s important
to share my experience. I’m really interested
in the project’s sustainability. Will residents be happy
with the project? Will the project be profitable
for Montrealers? I’m fascinated by the fact
that this is an urban site. There are lots of constraints,
like noise and vibration control. I want to see what is being done
to manage that. From a technical standpoint,
it’s an extremely complex project. It’s like an iceberg: watching it progress from the street,
you’ll see just the tip. On the surface, the entrance
lets you access the station. But you won’t see
all the work happening below. We’ll meet with Thomas,
the project manager, who will explain what we’re doing.
– Great. Hi, Thomas.
Go on in, guys. Thomas, pleasure.
– Bilal. My name is Thomas Fortin,
and I’m a civil engineer. I’m overseeing the Édouard-Montpetit station
as part of the REM project. I’m responsible for coordinating
the different steps of the work. It’s a design-build project, which means we’re hired
to design and build the station. I make sure the plans
are executed properly and we stay within the budget and timeline. Can you show us the plans? Yes! First, here’s
the station design from 1983, which would have connected the blue line
to the Mount Royal Tunnel. We’re connecting the STM station
to the existing tunnel. Picture it: you take an elevator
20 stories underground to get to the tunnel’s infrastructure. We’re less than 10 metres
from a university building, less than 10 metres from a city sewer system,
which in some cases can be over 100 years old and fragile.
We have to be very careful. There are several ways to limit
the scope of our impact. We installed noise barriers
to limit transmission of sound. I’ll show you around the site
to explain what we’re doing. There’s a lot of pressure and high expectations
considering the station is the subject of wide media coverage.
It is highly visible. This is the first time I’ve seen
a site use dynamite. It’s something we touch on in class,
and I’d like to know more about it. I always like showing
people what we do and explaining the challenges. When you work in the field:
public transit infrastructure, it’s about leaving
your mark on Montréal, being able to say:
“I worked on that. I was part of it.”

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