Montreal traffic woes far from over
Although the New Champlain Bridge is scheduled to open soon, road and infrastructure work are far from over and traffic congestion will still cause some major headaches. In fact, there will be at least another 4 to 5+ years until the cones really start to disappear. Roads, ramps, bridges, tunnels and underground infrastructure in and around the Montreal area have been in dire need of repair and in some cases, even replacement. So hang on to your steering wheels and try not to lose your 'grip' in frustration.
Here are some of the projects to look out for and their projected completion dates:
TURCOT INTERCHANGE: 2020
When the New Champlain Bridge is officially opened by the end of this year, or early next year, it will indeed ease some traffic woes, but around the Turcot Interchange there are still temporary ramps and and structures needing to be taken down. Transport Quebec said drivers will be able to use many of the new structures but can expect major closures every weekend until the end of this year and into 2019. And then there are two additional projects scheduled that will affect traffic to a degree: A bike and pedestrian bridge over Hwy 20 that will link NDG to the Southwest Borough, and a new nature park being built on part of the Turcot Yards and the old Hwy 20 area.
LAFONTAINE TUNNEL: 2023
The Lafontaine Tunnel that connects the Montreal with Longueuil on the South Shore is scheduled for a major rebuild beginning in 2020 and although it will remain open to cars, concrete slabs located on HWY 25 on the Montreal side of the tunnel need to be replaced and on the South side, a third lane for vehicules will be added.The work is expected to have a significant impact and traffic control measures will put in place.
L’ÎLE-AUX-TOURTES BRIDGE: ONGOING
Road and bridge work have been ongoing for over a year now and behind schedule - but Transports Québec explained that the complex task of placing hundreds of custom made steel beams under the bridge is the main reason for the delay - but the structural maintenance on the bridge is expected to be be finished by the end of the summer.And then… after 53 years since it was built, the bridge is scheduled to be replaced.The project is still under study and the official start date is not yet known - and repairs and maintenance work continue on the present structure until the new bridge is built.
REM ELECTRIC TRAIN: 2018 - 2023
The building of the REM electric train network has already caused headaches for many and will not only continue, but intensify.The effects will be felt by commuters and drivers, especially those in the WEST ISLAND, DOWNTOWN and SOUTH SHORE. Underground tunnels have to be built and we have already seen the Vincent D’Indy Ave. entrance of the Édouard-Montpetit metro station closed and it will remain so until 2022.Work on the REM will also effect parts of McGill College Ave. and you can expect more closures and detours as the work progresses.
MÉTRO BLUE LINE EXTENSION: 2020 2026
This project was a long time coming until it was finally approved. Work has not yet begun, but the Blue Line will add five new stations to Montreal's Metro system, extending eastward and is expected to be opened in 2026.
STE-CATHERINE STREET: 2019 - 2022
Although the first phase of the revamping of Ste Catherine St. was delayed in order to offer merchants some relief during their peak season - the work is still scheduled to start in 2019.
*OTHER PROJECTS TO KEEP IN SIGHT: - METROPOLITAN EXPRESSWAY/DECARIE CIRCLE:
Start Date Not Yet Known
The Expressway is in serious need of repair. At least 10 of the On and Off-ramps are in bad shape and require major repairs and some minor work is needed on thirtyone others. There are even studies going on to replace it. Transport Quebec also has plans to rebuild the DECARIE CIRCLE, but that is in the long-term. For now, only maintenance and repairs are going to be made to the structure. Disruptions should be held to a minimum as some of the work will take place under the elevated part of the circle. - NOTRE-DAME ST. EAST: Plans are in the making for major roadwork starting in 2022.
- ST-PIERRE INTERCHANGE: Start Date Not Yet Known. At over 50 years old, the interchange is in serious need of replacement. Studies are being done. **The list can go on and on, but look out for ongoing roadwork work between Jean-Talon and Jarry Streets on ST-DENIS until December of 2020.As well as work on VAN HORNE AVE. on the westbound side between Decarie Blvd and Victoria Ave. until 2020 and the DORVAL CIRCLE Interchange project should be fully completed by the end of 2019 due to more road work around the airport. It ain't over 'til it's over…