Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, left, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be in Lac-Megantic today to announce a rail bypass five years after 47 people died when a train derailed and exploded in the town. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot

Lac-Megantic rail bypass to be funded jointly by federal, Quebec governments

LAC-MEGANTIC, Que. — The Quebec and federal governments say they will jointly fund a rail bypass in Lac-Megantic, nearly five years after 47 people were killed when a train derailed and exploded in the town.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard announced today the two levels of government have signed an agreement-in-principle to jointly fund the project.

The federal government will assume 60 per cent of the cost of building the bypass, with Quebec taking on the remaining 40 per cent.

The 12.8 kilometre route taking rail traffic away from the downtown area was selected following a feasibility study.

While the estimated cost is $133 million, the next phase of the study will clarify the final cost of the bypass.

On July 6, 2013, the runaway train carrying crude oil from the United States careened off the track in Lac-Megantic and exploded, killing 47 people and destroying part of the town centre.

Trudeau says many people are still dealing with the ongoing effects of trauma and loss and he hopes the bypass will help the community continue to heal and rebuild.

The Canadian Press

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