The governments of Canada and Quebec have made a combined CA$36.1 million (US$27.53 million) commitment to building a rail bridge over the Mistassini River in Dolbeau-Mistassini.
The federal government will contribute CA$12 million (US$9.2 million), while the provincial government will invest more than CA$24.1 million (US$18.4 million) into the project. Infrastructure Canada explains that the financing comes from the New Building Canada Fund, Provincial-Territorial Infrastructure Component—National and Regional Projects.
“Access to transportation is a key factor in industrial development, especially in a region like Lac-Saint-Jean, which is on the outskirts of major markets. Our businesses require an efficient, reliable, modern and competitive way of transporting their goods to thrive. It is an undeniable factor and the main reason we chose to support this project,” said Philippe Couillard, premier of Quebec, minister responsible for the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean Region and member of the National Assembly for Roberval. “Moreover, the rail link was recommended by the Transportation Working Group of the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean Regional Economic Summit, supported by the Economic Intervention Tactical Group; two working groups we set up in recent years in collaboration with regional socio-economic organizations to contribute to local strength and vitality.”
Construction of the railway bridge includes the connection to the existing railway, a rail yard on the west side of the river, a rail link to the industrial park on the east side of the Mistassini River and installation of a grade crossing allowing for emergency vehicle traffic. Once completed, this project will support the RCM of Maria-Chapdelaine in the development of its industrial park by facilitating the movement of daily traffic for the transportation of goods from one side of the river to the other.
“The entire region north of Quebec and Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean will soon be accessible by rail thanks to this new passage over the Mistassini River. This new access point will promote synergy in the region, encouraging the consolidation and growth of the Gande-Anse port facilities. It will also ensure that a variety of transportation infrastructure is available in the region to help support the mining sectors that are integral to the development of the Plan Nord,” explained Luc Simard, Reeve of the Maria-Chapdelaine RCM.