Lac-Mégantic bypass

Contribution from the Government of Canada

The Government of Canada confirmed on May 11, 2018, that it would fund 60% of the construction costs of the Lac-Mégantic bypass. The Government of Quebec will fund the other 40%. The project will be managed by Canadian Pacific Railway (CP), which acquired the Central Maine & Quebec Railway (CMQR) in December 2019. CP will own the bypass once the construction is completed.

Lac-Mégantic bypass map

Why this route?

The choice of the final route is based on numerous studies undertaken as part of a feasibility study, and the recommendation put forward for the Phase 1B, namely, a 12.8 km route estimated at $133 million.

The following criteria were used for the comparative analysis:

  • Technical characteristics (geometry of the track and grading)
  • Human environment (proximity to buildings and communities passed through)
  • Land planning (acquisition of permanent right-of-ways, land affected and fragmented)
  • Natural environment (crossing of watercourses and wetlands)
  • Level crossings
  • Engineering works (necessary structures) and culverts

The selected bypass removes the rail right-of-way from downtown Lac-Mégantic and reduces the number of buildings near the railway.

Key steps

The Government of Canada will continue to work with all stakeholders involved, including the Government of Quebec, the municipalities, and the CP, until the construction of the bypass is completed. The next steps of the project are:

  1. Geotechnical work – completed (2018-2019)
  2. Bureau d'audiences publiques sur l'environnement (BAPE) consultations – completed (summer 2019)
  3. Final feasibility study – completed (summer 2020)
  4. Land acquisition process (2021-2022)
  5. Plans and specifications (2021-2022)
  6. Construction (between 2022-2023)
  7. Commissioning of the bypass (2023)
  8. Decommissioning of the existing track (2024-2025)

Land acquisition

The Government of Canada will have to acquire 80 properties, mostly parcels of land, to complete the Lac-Mégantic Bypass Project. These properties belong to 41 owners, including the City of Lac-Mégantic and the Ministère des Transports du Québec. Transport Canada has mandated Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) to acquire these properties through over-the-counter negotiations.

PSPC is in communication with the owners impacted by the land acquisition process. In fall 2019, the acquisition process started with the land survey and the evaluation of each property. In 2021, over-the-counter negotiations will be held between PSPC and the owners, which will lead to signing a promise to purchase.

For more information about the land acquisition process, please contact PSPC at: 1-833-381-1630.

Properties outside of the rail right-of-way

The land acquisition process will only be conducted on properties that are included in the rail right-of-way. For those adjacent to the bypass right-of-way, mitigation measures will be implemented to reduce the impact of the project. For example, abatement walls are planned to be built in some areas along the bypass. However, no financial compensation will be provided for properties located outside the bypass.


Railway crossings are planned to allow access to lots that will be intersected by the bypass. Not every property will have a crossing. Connecting roads could be built along the bypass in some areas.

Final Feasibility Study

AECOM has completed the feasibility study on the bypass project, and has submitted the final report at the end of summer 2020.

The report has allowed to complete the required technical data. The report was transmitted to CP, which will be responsible for designing the bypass plans and specifications.

Plans and specifications, construction and decommissioning of the existing track

CP will be responsible for the plans and specifications, and the construction of the bypass.

The Government of Canada, in collaboration with the Government of Quebec, will implement monitoring mechanisms to ensure that the project meets the expectations and requirements for both levels of government. Transport Canada hired the engineering firm CIMA + to provide support for this purpose.

Once the bypass is in operation, the existing bypass between Nantes and Frontenac will be dismantled and transferred to Transport Canada. Remediation work may be carried out depending on the future land use. The Government of Canada intends to transfer these lands to the municipalities for public use.


You can contact the project team via email at: