MONTREAL — One of the crown jewels of downtown Montreal will finally reopen to the public next week.
The Place du Canada Park has been under renovations for more than 18 months, keeping pedestrians on the outside looking in.
It’s been excruciatingly painful for people on foot or in car. The streets surrounding the park have been closed or have had reduced lanes since May 2014. Traffic congestion has often ruled the roads in this part of the city ever since.
Place du Canada park opening delayed
Montreal’s Place du Canada park slated to open soon
Place du Canada gets makeover
The opening of the park next week is behind schedule. It was supposed to be ready by the end of October.
The project is also more than $700,000 over budget, now costing more than $10 million.
Some analysts say the city needs to impose a reward and penalty system on contractors who finish jobs on time and those who miss their deadlines.
“The culture needs to change,” said municipal affairs analyst Karim Boulos.
“If you lack the motivation to do something in a new way then someone has to change the model on you. You can’t be doing the same thing over and over and expect different results.”
Boulos said the slow progress of public works projects is bad for Montreal’s economy.
“It drives down productivity,” he added.
The Place du Canada park opened in the 19th Century and is considered the twin to the Dorchester Square Park, which was completely overhauled several years ago.