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Montreal drivers warned that more congestion likely as Turcot project intensifies

Click to play video 'No pain, no gain on the Turcot Interchange' No pain, no gain on the Turcot Interchange
WATCH: No pain, no gain on the Turcot Interchange

Some of the finishing touches are being put on the new Saint-Jacques overpass, the long-awaited bridge that is expected to re-open to traffic by the end of the year.

That’s not the only progress to date. The new Highway 15 southbound of the Turcot Interchange is also expected to open to traffic by December.

READ MORE: Hikers tour St. Jacques Escarpment to celebrate park, pedestrian walkway plans

“Within the next six months, most of the interchange is going to be dismantled,” said Olivier Beaulieu, KPH Turcot assistant director during a media tour of the exchange. “It’s not going to be here anymore.

“It’s really going to change the face of Montreal.”

The Turcot interchange, one of the largest and most complex public works projects in North America, is being entirely rebuilt while 300,000 vehicles continue to use it every day. To make that happen, 300,000 cubic metres of concrete have to be demolished.

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WATCH: Montrealers brace for more traffic chaos as construction ramps up

Click to play video 'Montrealers brace for more traffic chaos as construction ramps up' Montrealers brace for more traffic chaos as construction ramps up
Montrealers brace for more traffic chaos as construction ramps up

That’s three-quarters of the amount that was used to build the Olympic Stadium.

An additional 135,000 cubic metres of fresh concrete is being added to build the new exchange — the equivalent of building more than three CN Towers. The entire reconstruction process, Beaulieu says, is like building a sophisticated LEGO set, as the interchange is built piece by piece.

“We’re building a brand new interchange right underneath an existing one,” Beaulieu said.

READ MORE: More Turcot Interchange troubles ahead with unprecedented closures

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Massive closures coming

More massive closures are coming in the weeks and months ahead, as contractors remove a 100-metre section of the old A15 North.

The biggest one will be Nov. 9 to 13, as almost the entire Turcot will be closed to traffic:

  • Closure of Highway 20 westbound: Thursday evening to Tuesday morning
  • Closure of Highway 20 eastbound: Friday evening to Tuesday morning
  • Closure of Highway 15 northbound: Friday evening to Monday morning

WATCH: Westmount residents fed up with Turcot construction

Click to play video 'Westmount residents fed up with Turcot construction' Westmount residents fed up with Turcot construction
Westmount residents fed up with Turcot construction

Mitigation efforts are being introduced to reduce the pain for commuters, though. Among them include the addition of more exo trains on the Candiac and Vaudreuil-Hudson line. Trains will run free of charge for passengers on Nov. 9 and 12.

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On the Vaudreuil-Hudson line, 14 trains will be added but will only stop at the Lucien-L’Allier, Vendôme and Dorval stations.

Parking spaces — about 200 — will be added at the Dorval Garden Mall.

The new interchange is scheduled to be finished by 2020, with a price tag of $3.67 billion. In the meantime, further details are available online.