Area: Environmental advice
Region: Outaouais
Year: 2010-2014
Client: Société de transport de l’Outaouais

Environmental Advice for the Construction of a Reserved Bus Lane in Gatineau (Rapibus)

The Rapibus project was an initiative of the Société de transport de l’Outaouais and was designed to improve the supply of public transportation in the City of Gatineau. The proposed bus lane, extending over more than 12 km, crossed a municipal park and land owned by the National Capital Commission, affecting roughly 250 ha of natural environment. 

Groupe DDM’s mandate involved a literature review and field inventories to characterize wetlands, watercourses and plant and wildlife habitats and resources (birds, reptiles, plants, special status species) along the proposed bus lane. One of the mandate’s components focused specifically on measures for fish habitats in order to meet Fisheries and Oceans Canada requirements. Following the review and analysis, applications for certificates of authorization under section 22 of the Environment Quality Act, were prepared, along with applications for permission to carry out work in City of Gatineau protection and integration woodlands. A complete environmental impact assessment (prior examination) was also required under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, to allow for infrastructure work to be carried out. 

In addition to its original mandate, Groupe DDM was subsequently asked to monitor the application of environmental protection measures. The conditions stipulated in the authorizations and environmental assessment included a number of mitigation measures to reduce the impacts of the work on different aspects of the natural ecosystem and human environment. 

Compensation plans were prepared to meet the requirements of the FOC and the MDDELCC. The plans, prepared in compliance with all applicable regulations and by-laws (municipal, provincial and federal), proposed protection and reproduction of similarly-valued natural environments. Specifications containing environmental protection measures were also prepared for contractors, and were subsequently monitored.