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  • Writer's pictureNikki Mantell

Fed up waiting for MTQ

Archie Adams and his wife Françoise Osborne are learning first-hand how slow the cogs of Quebec bureaucracy turn and it’s taking a toll on their business.

“What can we say, eh? It’s government,” Osborne told the Low Down.

She and Adams co-own Garage Adams just north of Wakefield. It’s their home and place of business. They’ve lived there for over 17 years. Business is booming and they need to expand from having a one-car garage to a two-car garage to handle all the work.

But the property won’t be theirs forever.

The Ministère des Transports du Québec plans to expropriate their property along with 16 other properties between Adams and Osborne’s home along Hwy 105 and the end of Hwy 5 at Chemin Maclaren, as part of its plan to extend Hwy 5 1.7 kilometres to connect to Hwy 105. The extension will mostly be four lanes, but the last 200 metres will be three lanes — two northbound lanes and one southbound. Plans include access to the newly extended highway at Chemin Maclaren, MTQ communications agent Rosalie Faubert said.

The plans have been in the works for years – the MTQ previously stated that the work would start in late 2020 and no new timeline is available – and the wait is starting to negatively affect Adams and Osborne’s business. They said they want to expand, but don’t want to invest all that money if they’re forced to sell soon.

But the prolonged process is hampering Garage Adams’ growing business. It recently got the contract to change the tires off all MRC des Collines Police vehicles and could use more garage space, Osborne said.

“They’ve been fooling around with us and it’s getting annoying,” she said. “I need a double bay garage to serve all our clients.”

“I can’t put my business on hold,” added Adams.

He said that MTQ personnel inspected the property in 2021 and told him that they would make an offer by December. He said he hasn’t heard from them since.

“Everybody I talk to around here hasn’t heard from the MTQ either,” Osborne said about her neighbours who are up for expropriation as well.

Faubert said that no property owners have been expropriated yet. Geotechnical studies and plans have been completed, but land acquisition along the future highway corridor is underway.

“As part of the acquisition process, several steps must be completed before possession can be taken,” she wrote in an email to the Low Down. “The MTQ has also conducted environmental analyses. However, authorizations must still be obtained from the ministries concerned — the Ministère de l'Environnement et de Lutte contre les changements climatiques, Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs and Fisheries and Oceans Canada.”

The total cost of the project won’t be available until after the government puts out a call for companies to bid on the contract, Faubert explained.

She said that the MTQ will communicate progress on the project in the coming weeks.


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