For release - September 22, 2013
SAGUENAY—LAC-SAINT-JEAN, QUEBEC – Today in Saguenay, the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Infrastructure, Communities and Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of the Canadian Economic Development Agency for the Regions of Quebec; Sylvain Gaudreault, Minister of Transport and Minister of Municipal Affairs, Regions and Land Use; Stéphane Bédard, Minister of Government Administration, President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean Region; and Alexandre Cloutier, Minister for Canadian Intergovernmental Affairs, the Canadian Francophonie and Sovereignist Governance and Minister responsible for the Nord-du-Québec Region, officially inaugurated the new Highway 73/175 connecting Quebec City and the town of Saguenay over a distance of 174 km.
The work to turn Highway 73/175 into a four-lane divided highway, which was announced on August 22, 2002 and begun in 2003, is without a doubt one of the most significant construction projects in modern Quebec history.
“The Government of Canada takes pride in having contributed $375 million towards the new Highway 73/175,” said Minister Lebel. “Today’s inauguration happily coincides with the 175th anniversary of the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean Region, a memorable moment for us all. As the latest Canadian job creation figures show, our government remains focused on the economy, and this upgraded and safer road will not only improve traffic flow but also drive economic development in our region.”
“Quebeckers have once again demonstrated their know-how in carrying out this enormous project under often difficult weather and geographic conditions,” said the Minister of Transport and Minister of Municipal Affairs, Regions and Land Use. “Highway 73/175 sets a model of sustainable development for the world. The road is a perfect fit with its environment, which it respects, something we should be proud of!”
“The rebuilding of Highway 73/175 brings major benefits for users of the Laurentian Wildlife Reserve,” added Mr. Gaudreault. “Road safety has greatly increased. For one thing, the risk of head-on collisions and collisions with large animals is now minimal. Traffic flow will also now be greatly improved both at peak times and for heavy vehicles. Trips between the Capitale-Nationale and the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean Region will now definitely be easier.”
“I am honoured to have announced this project in 2002, in the company of Premier Bernard Landry and Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, to whom I now give sincere thanks,” said Mr. Stéphane Bédard, Minister responsible for the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean Region. “This is a big step forward for the entire region because the road will improve safety for our fellow citizens and it will also assist our economic development. Investment in this project was hard-won and I would like to thank all those who worked so diligently to make it a reality, as well as all the workers and contractors who took part in it.”
“Today I want to pay tribute to everyone who contributed directly or indirectly to this magnificent project, to all the politicians who made it a reality and to all the members of the public who got involved, in particular through the Accès-Bleuets movement,” said Mr. Alexandre Cloutier, Minister for Canadian Intergovernmental Affairs, the Canadian Francophonie and Sovereignist Governance. “The rebuilding of Highway 175 is an outstanding example of a major societal achievement, of which we can be proud. The Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean Region now has a safe, modern means of travel which I’m sure will improve the quality of life of current and future generations and allow thousands of visitors to come and enjoy the beauty of the region and the warm welcome of its inhabitants. It will also make a major contribution to the economic development of the entire region.”
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Office of the Minister of Transport and Minister of Municipal Affairs, Regions and Land Use
Office of the Minister of Infrastructure, Communities and Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of the Canadian Economic Development Agency for the Regions of Quebec
Office of the Minister for Canadian Intergovernmental Affairs, the Canadian Francophonie and Sovereignist Governance and Minister responsible for the Nord-du-Québec Region
Office of the Minister of Government Administration and President of the Treasury Board
Quebec Department of Transport
Quebec City: 418-644-4444
Toll-free: 1 866-341-5724