If you use the Decarie Expressway to get downtown you’ll be noticing a new addition: the new St-Jacques overpass is now 60 per cent complete.
Transport ministry workers did the careful work of sliding a huge part of the bridge into place on Saturday.
“Starting Tuesday, drivers on the 15 north will see over their head the first part of the new bridge,” said Transports Quebec spokesman Martin Girard.
The precise, painstaking process took hours to do, as they used heavy machinery to shift 1,123 tonnes of steel into place. That’s equal to the weight of six blue whales.
“It’s going very slowly, we’re talking about 0.6 metres every six minutes,” he said.
Drivers may remember a simpler time when St-Jacques crossed Highway 15. The old bridge was dismantled and it’s being rebuilt as part of the new Turcot project.
If all goes according to plan, the two sides of St-Jacques will be reunited by the end of the year. Crews will get started on the second half of the bridge soon.
“In the next weeks, they will start to assemble the second part of the bridge, and this part will be pushed by the end of the summer,” Girard explained. “After that, they will assemble the cables and the pavement.”
Girard called the new structure a “signature bridge,” and recognized how vital it will be to traffic in the area. People living right next to the construction site are very much looking forward to when it’s finally done.
“That will be much easier for us, the traffic,” said Steve Zalac, who lives on Addington.
“Having the bridge over here will be so much better,” added Vincent Iacampo, another resident of the street.
They say they’ve put up with a lot through the project.
“The noise, the vibration … we just renovated our place and just the vibration caused cracks already,” said Iacampo.
People also say they’re tired of the wall between them and the construction site.
“We don’t like the Berlin Wall. They demolished it in Germany, we’re still waiting for them to demolish it here,” said Zalac.
The massive Turcot project is still nowhere near over, and people can still expect traffic headaches until the end of 2020.