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The Canadian government has reached an agreement with Canadian Pacific concerning the Lac-Megantic rail bypass.
In collaboration with CP, the government has established an accelerated schedule that will enable the project to be completed in 2023. Work is expected to begin in spring 2022.
The agreement is an important step toward obtaining the necessary plans, specifications and regulatory authorization to complete the project, government officials said in a press release. The pact includes several studies to be completed in the coming weeks on soil, water and fish habitat quality, and on ambient noise levels.
“Transport Canada is committed to keeping property owners informed and minimizing the impact of the work while the studies are completed,” government officials said.
The final right-of-way plan has been completed and negotiations to acquire the land now will begin with affected property owners.
The 8-mile bypass will be built in response to the July 2013 Lac-Megantic rail disaster, in which an unattended crude-oil train — which had been parked in Nantes at the top of a slope — rolled down a hill before derailing at a high rate of speed in the city’s downtown area. The derailment led to an explosion and fire that killed 47 people and destroyed lots of property.