Highway 50: a priority for the Outaouais region, now a priority for Quebec
Although users of Highway 50 will have to wait until 2032 to see the completion of the work on this road, the Ministère des Transports has officially announced a timetable for the completion of the four-lane divided highway that will link the Outaouais region to the rest of the province.
During a press conference on March 14, François Bonnardel, Minister of Transports and Minister responsible for the Estrie region and Mathieu Lacombe, Minister of Family and Minister responsible for the Outaouais, accompanied by Robert Bussière and Mathieu Lévesque, respectively councilor for Gatineau and councilor for Chapleau, announced the eventual completion of the widening of Highway 50.
The investments of the Ministère des Transports in the Outaouais region for the years 2022-2024 will benefit highway users since the section between Gatineau and Ange-Gardien, more precisely a section of the roadway located between Findlay Road and Doherty Road, is prioritized by the work schedule and under construction since January 17, 2022. Subsequently, the section between Lachute and Mirabel, where the lanes are busier on a daily basis, should see work begin at the end of 2022, between Saint-Simon Road and the Mirabel air terminal. Finally, the section between L'Ange-Gardien and Mirabel will conclude the seven work packages for the widening of Highway 50.
The scene of countless accidents since the beginning of its construction in 1995 and the opening of its last section in 2012, Highway 50 recently made headlines during a pile-up in which some 15 vehicles were involved, in February 2022.
Despite the efforts made over the years by the Ministère des Transports, such as the addition of rumble strips on the median line separating the lanes between Gatineau and Mirabel, the improvement of lighting and signage, as well as the installation of a special guardrail between Gatineau and L'Ange-Gardien, Highway 50, which is a source of fear for many of its users, is known to be a dangerous road in some places and is in great need of modernization.
Mathieu Lacombe made the following comment at a press conference on March 14: "As the councilor for Papineau, Minister of Families and Minister responsible for the Outaouais region, I am very proud today to participate in this historic announcement for Papineau and the entire population of the Outaouais.
I have often said that I would be the "champion of Highway 50": so today, after three years of work, it is mission accomplished. The Outaouais will be connected to the rest of Quebec by a true four-lane divided highway. [...] We are determined to achieve this by 2032. We are taking concrete action to improve the safety of citizens, and the doubling of the lanes of Highway 50, in its entirety, is a must in terms of transportation and economy for Papineau and the Outaouais region.
Photo caption: A-50 westbound, near Gatineau
Photo credit: Sonia Roy