Highway 30 open to traffic Saturday
Long awaited thoroughfare finally ready
It is considered the largest infrastructure highway project to be completed in Quebec in years, the genesis of which dates back to the 1960s. And on Saturday motorists will be able to hop onto the newly completed Autoroute 30.
The new sections of the highway will offer more than 54 km of four lane highway driving, or two traffic lanes in each direction. There will also be tolls to pay - $1.50 per car, $1.15 per axel for trucks.
A30 is expected to alleviate congestion, which in turn will limit vehicle emissions.
In Vaudreuil-Dorion, the highway will link highways 20 and 540 from Toronto and Ottawa. It will route traffic along the south shore of the St. Lawrence River where it will link into the existing Autoroute 30 at Châteauguay. From there it will lead to Quebec City.
At the outset the $1.5 billion project was divided into two sections: a western section, and an eastern section. The western section, which begins in Vaudreuil-Dorion, was built using a public-private partnership that gave the private partner - consortium Nouvelle Autoroute 30, NA30 - control over design and construction. NA30 will also be responsible for the next 35 years for operating, financing and maintaining the highway that runs from Vaudreuil-Dorion to Châteauguay. NA30 will collect tolls in order to finance the road and pay back the construction money given to the company by the province.
The Eastern section project, meanwhile, located south of Candiac, Delson and Saint-Constant, was built by the Minister of Transports. The maintenance and operation of that section, as well
as of existing sections running from Châteauguay to Brossard, will be entrusted to a private partner for a 30-year period, according to the MTQ.
The 35 km-long western stretch of newly paved road which will also give drivers easy access to Autoroute 40, begins in Vaudreuil-Dorion. Commuters will link to the new thoroughfare from highway 540. Once on the highway motorists will cross the St. Lawrence River on an almost 2 kmlong bridge. A second 2.5 km-long bridge was constructed to span the Beauharnois Canal. The canal bridge boasts a vertical clearance in excess of 38 meters. Finally, the new western highway section will connect at the Châteauguay and Mercier borders with existing sections of highway 30. According to information posted on Transport Québec’s website, both bridges represented more than 40-percent of the
total cost of the western section project.
The Eastern section of Autoroute 30 includes 12.2 km of four-lane divided highway located south of Candiac, Delson, and Saint-Constant. It begins in Châteauguay at the existing A30 and extends to the Jean-Leman interchange in Candiac. The Eastern section, however, will not be connected to the local road network, meaning while the highway will cross local roads no interchanges have been built or are planned. Transport Québec says the decision was made in an effort to limit urban sprawl.
The A30 project dates to the 1960s. In 1968, a bridge connecting Sorel and Tracy opened to traffic, while an 11.5 km section connecting Brossard and Candiac opened to motorists. The western and eastern sections were the only two stretches of road left to be completed.