Watch above: The major seven week long work blitz on the Mercier Bridge has officially started.
MONTREAL – Commuters are being asked to avoid the Mercier Bridge for the next seven weeks in an attempt to minimize traffic due to an intense work blitz that started Friday.
The bridge will be down to just one lane in each direction until August 11 so workers can replace the concrete deck on the federal side of the bridge.
The Quebec government had originally planned to replace the concrete deck on their side of the bridge as well, but shelved the idea back in 2012. There are still no plans to start work.
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The speed limit on the bridge will be reduced from 70 km/h to 50 km/h.
The access ramp from Châteauguay to Montreal will be closed, as well as the ramp from Airlie street to the South Shore.
Trucks will not be allowed on the bridge during rush hour from Monday to Friday, 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Authorities are encouraging drivers to leave their cars at home and take public transport.
There are already plans to carve out a reserved bus lane leading to the Mercier.
The Agence métropolitaine de transport (AMT) has also agreed to add cars to its Candiac trains if ridership increases.
Due to the focus on the Mercier bridge, there is no major work planned for the Champlain Bridge or any other links to the South shore.