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Bonaventure Expressway tear-down causes headaches for Montreal drivers

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WATCH ABOVE: City crews have started tearing down the 50-year-old Bonaventure Expressway to be replaced with urban-friendly local roads. Global's Tim Sargeant reports – Jul 6, 2016

MONTREAL – A one-kilometre stretch of the elevated Bonaventure Expressway is being torn down, and trying to navigate a way around the labyrinth work site could leave drivers with a migraine.

Demolishing the structure from downtown to the Lachine Canal is expected to last until September — and that’s only the beginning.

READ MORE: Coderre announces plans to revamp Bonaventure Expressway

City officials are transforming the entire landscape of the area into a more urban-friendly district filled with green space, trees, bus lanes and bike lanes.

The expressway will be replaced by a new north-south urban boulevard with four lanes in the northbound direction and five lanes heading south.

Watch below: Global’s past coverage of the Bonaventure Expressway construction

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It’s a $141 million project designed to better integrate downtown with Griffintown and the Lachine Canal.

“It’s all part of the strategy of downtown that we’re planning to push forward,” Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre told reporters during a tour of the project Wednesday morning.

Twenty-five thousand vehicles use the expressway everyday as well as 1,000 public transit buses.

READ MORE: Confusion rules the roads around the Bonaventure expressway

Tearing down an expressway in the heart of the city surrounded by heavy traffic, office towers and condominiums is an engineering and logistical challenge, but it’s a task the project manager told Global News his team is ready to handle.

“If problems pop up, we might accelerate things because the idea is that it has to be finished before the winter sets in,” said Pierre Saint-Marie.

READ MORE: Bonaventure Expressway closures mark final stage of construction

Re-configuring the entire area is expected to be finished by fall 2017.

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