The Port of Montreal is one of the largest in North America, serving Quebec, central Canada, and the midwestern and northeastern United States. Its merchandise transportation business continues to grow rapidly and its container operations will soon reach full capacity. Because of this, the Montreal Port Authority (MPA) plans to build a new container terminal in Contrecœur, a nearby municipality on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River. As one of the most ambitious projects undertaken by the MPA, the Contrecœur Terminal Expansion Project is set to drastically improve the resilience of Canada’s supply and logistics chains.

The terminal expansion is expected to increase the Port of Montreal’s annual capacity by 60%. As Contrecœur is located 40 km downstream of Montréal, the new terminal will help alleviate congestion of goods that would otherwise need to travel to and from the island of Montréal across the St. Lawrence River. Additionally, the project is expected to spark economic benefits for the province of Quebec. An estimated 8,000 jobs will be created during construction and another 1,200 during operation.

Arup is providing technical advice to the MPA, including design, cost estimation, tender preparation, bidder evaluation, and scheduling, among other services. The multidisciplinary team continues to support the expansion project as technical advisor for the next phase of work. Arup’s longstanding experience delivering complex infrastructure projects in Montreal started with our work on the Samuel De Champlain Bridge, a vital corridor for goods and people. 

A model for sustainability

Shipping is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions globally. Thus, the decarbonization of shipping corridors could play a key role in tackling climate change. The MPA is implementing sustainable, resilient solutions for the new terminal at Contrecœur. 

In support of the MPA’s ambitious sustainability goals, Arup conducted an analysis of other sustainable ports to inform the decarbonization approach.  The Contrecœur project will incorporate all-electric port equipment, among other initiatives, for reducing operational carbon. In 2021, the MPA received the go-ahead in the form of a positive decision statement from Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, which sets out environmental and social conditions for implementing the new terminal’s ambitious sustainability approach, and Arup’s team worked to ensure the technical requirements for the project would meet these. Arup also recommended that the terminal expansion adopt the Envision framework for sustainable, resilient, and equitable infrastructure. Drawing on experience guiding Envision certification for large-scale infrastructure projects across North America, the Arup team incorporated these additional criteria into the technical requirements for the project. 

The Contrecœur Terminal Expansion Project incorporates solutions that consider local climatic conditions (harsh winters, the possibility of rising water levels) and the site’s proximity to a seismic fault. These are also reflected in Arup’s technical requirements.

Global experience meets local knowledge

Arup’s multidisciplinary team is helping the Port of Montreal bring this complex project to life with maritime, rail, civil engineering, geotechnic, seismic, urban planning, cost estimation, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, fire and life safety and project management expertise. 

We are developing this exemplary project not only for years, but for decades to come.

Montreal Port Authority