Montreal just weeks away from congestion chaos

Quebec transport minister tours Turcot Interchange
WATCH ABOVE: Quebec's transport minister Laurent Lessard visits the Turcot construction site. As Global's Tim Sargeant reports, work around the interchange is expected to ramp-up this fall and the government is looking at mitigating traffic in the area.

The traffic complications that many drivers face as they head into Montreal could be nothing next to what’s on the horizon in the coming weeks.

Transports Quebec is planning two major lane closures by mid-November.

First, access to the A720 eastbound from Highway 20 will be reduced to one lane from two lanes starting in mid-October.

By mid-November, the entire Ville-Marie expressway in the eastbound direction will be closed.

All vehicles will be diverted onto a two lane alternative route toward downtown instead of the four lane expressway.

These closures will remain in place for two years.

“We know it’s going to be complicated and that’s why we want the population to cooperate with us and take public transit,” Sarah Bensadoun of Transports Quebec told Global News.

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The problem is, some say, that using mass transit to move the tens of thousands of daily drivers won’t solve all the traffic problems.

Commuters who use express STM buses on Highway 20 toward the 720 will be stuck in the same traffic with cars. Taking the AMT passenger rail train on the Vaudreuil-Hudson line may not meet demand.

There are very few trains that run outside of rush hour.

An AMT spokesperson emailed Global News to say that a single train car may be added to the line if there is a surge in demand but there are no plans to increase the number of trains overall.

The congestion between the west island and downtown has been a perennial problem for people like James Cherry.

The CEO of the Aéroports de Montréal is frustrated with the work scheduled on the Turcot and fears traffic jams will only get worse in the weeks and months ahead.

“I’m afraid we’re going to be suffering this for a while,” Cherry told Global News.

So brace yourself if you plan on driving into Montreal beginning mid-October and especially mid-November. The city could be in for it’s worst traffic congestion in history.