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Transit construction costs skyrocket due to pandemic

A direction sign to the subway, locally called the "metro", is seen in Montreal on Tuesday, June 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

MONTREAL (CITYNEWS) – Construction costs at Montreal’s transport agency, the STM, are skyrocketing.

Montreal’s elected officials are set to approve next week’s increases of nearly $350 million for three major projects: the Cote-Vertu metro garage, the Bellechasse bus garage, and additional metro elevators.

Construction invoices have increased by 20 per cent, 45 per cent and 70 per cent respectively.

The original budget assessment was carried out before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since then construction costs have skyrocketed, and labour shortages are only adding to the problem.

More detailed plans have also increased costs, as some projects have now been deemed much more complicated than originally expected.