It’s the first full day back to work and school after the summer break and with that comes traffic chaos.
There are a record 40 road construction sites around the island, making traffic congestion worse than usual, especially during rush hour.
“It’s probably one of the worst days of the year, if not the worst day of the year,” traffic expert Rick Leckner told Global News. “Everybody’s back!”
On top of that, there is a reconfiguration around the Turcot interchange. A newly built section of Highway 15 north is now open, with two lanes. The exit for Highway 20 west is now a bit further north of de la Verendrye Boulevard, after the Lachine Canal.
There are other areas to watch out for, with the record number of road construction projects.
“In total, there’s 40 construction sites, major ones, on the island of Montreal,” city of Montreal spokesperson Philippe Sabourin said. “Under the responsibility of the city, there’s 10, and five are ahead of schedule because of the dry summer.”
WATCH: Commuters struggling with new Turcot closures
One area to avoid is Robert Bourassa Boulevard where there are two construction sites.
“One is opposite Lachine Canal,” explains Sabourin, “so we are actually doing some construction work on the Bonaventure Bridge.”
The other site lies between St-Jacques and Belmont where sewers are being repaired. Work there is expected to be completed by October, but work on the bridge will continue for at least another year, according to Sabourin.
Other hot spots are the entire Turcot Interchange including the Decarie Expressway, where lane reductions are still in effect, and Highway 40 in both directions near Highway 13, where repairs are being done at various overpasses.
Despite congestion on the highways, Sabourin says things weren’t as expected on city streets Tuesday morning.
“That’s because nobody made it onto the island,” Leckner quips, noting that the major problem is usually getting into the city.
But Sabourin says there is another reason.
“The city wants to thank Montrealers because most of them chose to travel with public transit, and that was a good idea,” he said.
Still, Leckner says more can be done.
“If you look around you, you’ll see still too many single occupant vehicles,” he said. “Some of the things that can be done are common sense and we all have a role to play.
He also claims there are too many construction sites close together and that officials need to do a better job communicating.