Like snowflakes in the winter, the number of construction sites in the region will be too numerous to count this spring and summer.
Hundreds of work sites are planned by the city of Montreal, the transport ministry, the builders of the new Champlain Bridge and the builders of the Réseau express métropolitain. Traffic planners from each of those agencies met reporters Thursday to give them the highlights of the construction season.
“There won’t be a lot of total closures for a long period, but there will be closures for brief periods that will cause pain,” said Sarah Bensadoun, a spokesperson for Transport Quebec. “That’s why it will be important to plan your trips in advance.”
Most of the major roadwork projects are listed on the Quebec511.info website and ville.montreal.qc.ca/chantiers, the city of Montreal‘s site dedicated to roadwork. Most road closures are also updated on Google Maps and Waze, so those mobile applications should help drivers avoid some of the major trouble spots.
City of Montreal spokesperson Philippe Sabourin said this year the city’s Mobility Squad will be on duty in six boroughs to ensure that construction crews don’t violate city bylaws and cause more traffic problems than necessary by illegally parking on bicycle paths, for example.
“They’re doing quick interventions, and when you add up all their interventions, it makes a real difference on the mobility in Montreal,” Sabourin said.
Here are some of the highlights of the roadwork to come:
Major work is being done on seven bridges and tunnels in the Montreal region. Among them are the Louis-Bisson Bridge on Highway 13 and the Île-aux-Tourtes Bridge at the western tip of the island, which will have their lanes reduced until the end of the year.
The Jacques-Cartier Bridge will be repaved over the summer, and that will require three weekend work blitzes in June and July, as well as two weekend closures that will stretch into Tuesday at noon on both weekends of the construction holiday.
There will be some relief for users of the old Champlain Bridge, as the new Samuel-de-Champlain is expected to open in June, but at least two weekends of road closures will be needed to open the bridge in each direction.
As has become a summer tradition in the last few years, half of the Mercier Bridge will be completely closed for four weeks. The Montreal-bound side will be closed from June 26 to July 19, and traffic will be diverted to the other span.
The Pie-IX bridge and the Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine Tunnel will also have several lane closures and some night-time closures throughout the summer and stretching to the end of the year.
In the city core, major work will force the closure of St-Hubert Plaza, between Jean-Talon and St-Zotique Sts., St-Denis St. between Jean-Talon and Jarry St., and Berri St. between Viger Ave. and St-Antoine St. W.
Work on the REM will force the closure of Highway 10 between Taschereau Blvd. and Highway 30 over several weekends in the summer.
For anyone heading to the airport, The Highway 13/ Highway 40 interchange will have several partial or total night-time closures, including one for 24 hours in June to demolish an overpass.