No one can get around the Turcot Interchange fast these days — and driving through the labyrinth is about to get worse before it gets better.
Unprecedented closures are planned for Nov. 9-12.
“It’s really major,” said Sylvie Gervais, the KPH Turcot traffic manager.
For four days, part of Highway 20 and the Route 136 (the structure which replaces Highway 720) in the east and west bound directions will be closed. It means drivers won’t be able to use the expressways to drive downtown or leave the city during this period.
A section of Highway 15 North in the Turcot linking to the Decarie Expressway will also be closed.
“It’s a closure that never has been done in Montreal,” Gervais said. “So it’s a first and hopefully a last.”
A 150-metre section of the old Highway 15 in the heart of the interchange will be dismantled during that time.
“We have to dismantle this structure, which is the highest one on the interchange,” said Olivier Beaulieu, the deputy project manager of KPH Turcot.
The message to drivers during those four days? Avoid the area entirely.
“They really need to plan their commute,” said Gervais.
“They need to rethink their travel especially for those specific days.”
So far, 67 per cent of the work to build the new Turcot Interchange is done.
The majority of dismantling the 50-year-old interchange is expected to be finished within six months, which means the major driving disruptions and headaches should come to an end by next spring.
A total of 700 workers are on site rebuilding the largest interchange in the province, with shifts working around the clock on weekdays and occasionally on weekends.
The $3.67-billion structure is still scheduled to be completed by the end of 2020.