3rd link: the project is “incompatible” with the climate crisis, according to Équiterre

3rd link: the project is


The Quebec-Lévis tunnel project is “incompatible” with the objectives of the fight against the climate crisis, according to an analysis by the organization Équiterre, which gives it a score of only 32% in its “test climate”.

In the absence of studies published by the government demonstrating the need or the impacts of its project, the ecological organization went there with its own “environmental analysis” and revealed its results on Wednesday morning.

The 100-page report was written by an in-house mobility analyst, under the direction of a professor who is a member of the Integrated Research Center — Environment, Health and Society (PIRESS) at the University of Sherbrooke.


The document concludes that the tunnel project in its current form, an 8.3 km highway tunnel between the city centers of Quebec and Lévis, is “not very compliant” with the four ecological transition criteria studied, namely the mitigation of GHG emissions, adaptation and resilience to climate hazards, socio-economic benefits and sound governance.


The draft infrastructure scores 24 out of 75, or 32%, in this qualitative analysis.

“The analysis is clear: the third link does not pass the test of ecological transition. It should not go ahead if we want to act as a good manager and with consistency in the fight against the climate crisis,” says Marc-André Viau, director of government relations at Équiterre.

Among its various findings, the organization points out that polluting emissions would be generated by the construction, but also the vehicles that will circulate there, which “would not be exclusively zero emissions for several decades”.

In addition, the increase in road capacity and the induced demand it entails “create[s] a vicious circle where more and more space must be granted to vehicles (parking lots, freeway rights-of-way, interchanges, streets, etc.)”, according to Équiterre.

Urban sprawl

The authors are of the opinion that the project will intensify urban sprawl, particularly in Lévis, causing a loss of natural habitats and agricultural lands.

The preponderance given to the automobile in the latest version, the risk of cost overruns and the absence of opportunity studies or traffic projections are other factors that weigh down the results of the project.

“For the scientific community, the government's studies and analyzes must be made public as quickly as possible,” said Annie Chaloux, associate professor at the University of Sherbrooke and director of PIRESS, in a press release.< /p>

Recall that the Legault government presented in April a reduced version of its tunnel, now estimated at $6.5 billion. Buses would no longer have a dedicated lane, but would have priority during peak hours. Delivery is desired a year later than expected, in 2032.

Several alternatives to this project were however presented by the opponents of the CAQ in the context of the provincial election. They were not taken into account by the Équiterre study.