June 28, 2018 10:02 pm

Mayors, transport minister discuss traffic relief measures for Mercier Bridge

Drivers find ways to beat construction traffic on Mercier Bridge. (GLOBAL NEWS)

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South Shore mayors met with Quebec’s transport minister André Fortin to discuss traffic relief measures for the Mercier Bridge Thursday morning.

READ MORE: Motorists find a way around Mercier Bridge construction chaos

“It was a surprise for me to see him here this morning,” said the mayor of Châteauguay Pierre-Paul Routhier of Fortin’s visit.

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Construction on the Mercier Bridge is driving commuters over the edge, after circulation was reduced to one lane only in each direction last week.

Some have even said it’s the worst traffic they’ve ever seen.

Among the proposed measures is banning freight trucks from the bridge during rush hour.

“That will cause a problem, because heavy vehicles are commuting with goods that we need over here. But at the same time, we’ll give them the opportunity of using [Serge-] Marcil Bridge free of charge,” Routhier said.

The ministry is also looking into possibly allowing commuters from the area to ride buses and even some train lines for free.

Although nothing is yet confirmed, Châteauguay mayor Pierre-Paul Routhier said the measures could be implemented as early as next Tuesday.

Routhier said commuters from his area have been stuck in traffic on the bridge for up to one hour and a half.

READ MORE: Crowdsourced Facebook page provides indispensable resource for South Shore commuters

He believes the proposed measures will provide much-needed relief.

“The heavy trucks represent between five to 10 per cent of the traffic,” Routhier said. “If more people can get on the buses or the train, that will be an additional five to 10 per cent. If we reduce it about 20 per cent, plus also the fact that people are going on vacation now, we’re hoping we’ll be able to achieve it.”

The closures will continue until Aug. 20.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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