Atwater Metro’s Glow-Up
Updated: Sep 25, 2019
By Julia Bifulco
Picture it: you’re frantically running through Dawson at 7:55 am in a desperate attempt to be on time for your test at eight. To make matters worse, your class is in the dreaded P-wing: the Pepsi Forum across the street. You decide to head straight to the second floor of Dawson, where you hope that you’ll be able to run across De Maisonneuve quickly enough. You’re almost out the door, it’s 7:58, and you’re confident that you’ll just barely make it until you spot the barriers right outside. You forgot—the street has been under construction for months, and there’s no way that you’ll find a way to class in two minutes.
This has been the reality of many Dawson students ever since the street has been closed. The construction project started in April of this year, and is said to continue for at least another year. Taking a brief pause from January to March of 2020, the street will be closed until December of the same year, which was the original end date. It is unclear whether they will put another pause on the construction after the end of next year, but the projected end of the process is now Spring 2021.
The street is closed to car traffic during all aforementioned construction periods. Bikes and pedestrians are allowed, however, the street is often randomly closed for unspecified periods of time, so it is not the most reliable route, especially for students headed to the Forum.
It may seem annoying that we live in a city with streets that seem to be under construction incessantly, but it’s best to keep the end results in mind: an improved Montreal.
The purpose of this construction period is for the Société de Transport de Montréal to entirely replace the waterproof layer that protects Atwater metro station in the event of floods. On top of this, they intend to add two elevator shafts to the station, connecting the main level to the tunnel platforms. The purpose of this is to make the platforms more accessible to those with reduced mobility, such as metro-goers in wheelchairs.
Although the work is quite noisy when one is in the metro station, it is unnoticeable to Dawson students, both in and out of classes. The STM has confirmed that they will respect Westmount’s noise regulations. A lot of work is being done in the Atwater station very close to the Dawson entrance, but safety has been prioritized, and the noise will be kept to a reasonable level.
Prior to the construction, many trees, bushes, and other greenery were cut down by the STM to prepare for the project. At the end of the construction, which is projected for Spring 2021, they claim to want to replant them, as well as add trees that are naturally grown in Quebec. This is to attract more native wildlife to Dawson College and diversify our campus “green” life.
At the loss of the second-floor exit to De Maisonneuve, students can use a nearby exit by the second-floor cafeteria that leads to Atwater, which can get them to their Forum classes quite quickly. It may not be the most obvious choice, but it’s effective, as well as being a more scenic route.
It may seem annoying that we live in a city with streets that seem to be under construction incessantly, but it’s best to keep the end results in mind: an improved Montreal. This only makes walking around the city an even greater experience, as well as enriches its beauty. Of course, it would be much easier to have a direct route to our eight am Forum classes, but how can we call ourselves Montreal citizens without being inconvenienced by construction at least once?