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St. Jacques St. exit to close for months

MONTREAL РThe drive home for commuters in Notre Dame de Gr̢ce is to become much more of a headache than usual starting Tuesday, as construction work forces the shutdown of the St. Jacques St. exit off the westbound Ville Marie Expressway for at least five months.

“I think people in N.D.G. are going to be headed home on Tuesday and they’re going to be freaking out when they see what their options are,” said Peter McQueen, the city councillor for the Notre Dame de Grâce ward. McQueen, of the Projet Montréal party, accused transportation officials with the city, the provincial government and the McGill University Hospital Centre of poor planning, given the fact the announcement came just six days before the closing and no public consultation was held.

To leave the highway, motorists’ options will be to continue on to the Décarie Expressway, get off at the already congested Côte St. Luc Rd./Queen Mary Rd. exit, then head south on Girouard Ave. or west on a variety of roads.

The other suggested route involves taking the Atwater Ave. exit off the highway and using St. Antoine St. to make it west to N.D.G., but this option is open only to drivers who come on to the Ville Marie east of St. Denis St., as the Atwater exit is available only in the tunnel. The only option for drivers entering at the Mountain St. or Crescent St. ramps downtown will be to take the Décarie Expressway or to use streets like Sherbrooke, St. Antoine or Ste. Catherine.

The city of Montreal is installing a huge sewage drainage pipe – 3.8 metres in diameter – the length of Décarie Blvd. from de Maisonneuve Blvd. to St. Jacques St. to handle drainage water from the MUHC project under construction, as well as from residences north of de Maisonneuve Blvd. that suffered regular flooding because the sewage pipes in place couldn’t handle the run-off from summer rainstorms.

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