MONTREAL – Motorists may want to reach for the Tylenol if they plan on driving through the Turcot interchange in the coming days.
At 9:30 p.m. Sunday, Transport Quebec will close the ramp leading from Highway 720 West to Highway 15 South, towards Champlain Bridge.
Then on Friday, the off ramp from A20 East to A15 North will also close.
Major repairs are required on both sections to keep the deteriorating interchange open until a new one is built.
”This work will avoid emergency closures in the future,” Mario St-Pierre, a Transports Quebec spokesperson said Friday afternoon.
Transports Quebec officials admit there will be some traffic delays but only initially. St-Pierre expects the problems will subside within a few days following the two closures.
”For the first days there’s an adaptation period and after a while it seems to calm down,” he said.
Local officials, including the borough mayor of Côte-des-Neiges/NDG, say they were well informed of the closures so they can prepare to deal with potential congestion on local roads.
The repair work being carried out is the latest in a series of work Transports Quebec is doing to repair all the ramps of the Turcot.
Public transit systems may also get a big boost in ridership as the repair work and ramp closures occur, when thousands of Montrealers return to work and school following summer vacations.
”It’s going to… probably bring some more local traffic at Cavendish and Sherbrooke, Cavendish and St-Jacques. Those are things we will watch closely and adjust as quickly as we can as a consequence,” Russell Copeman, the borough mayor of Côte-des-Neiges/NDG said from Montreal City Hall.
More than 300,000 vehicles travel through the Turcot exchange every week day, making it the busiest interchange in the province.
While preparation work continues to replace the aging structure no construction or engineering firm has yet been announced to build a new one.
© Shaw Media, 2014