‘It’s a nightmare’: Could rotating shifts speed up Montreal construction?

Click to play video: 'Downtown Montreal construction has drivers seeing red' Downtown Montreal construction has drivers seeing red
WATCH: During rush hour, drivers will often find themselves at a standstill on René-Lévesque, Peel and adjacent streets thanks to ongoing construction work. As Global's Tim Sargeant explains, some Montrealers are wondering why the work doesn't continue into the evening hours. – Sep 16, 2019

As evening rush hour moves into high gear in downtown Montreal, several job sites look abandoned — including the intersection of René-Lévesque Boulevard and Peel Street.

Work crews leave just as traffic starts backing up on René-Lévesque Boulevard for several blocks. Montreal police officers and cadets are forced to control traffic lights manually to try and keep vehicles and pedestrians moving.

“It’s a nightmare, actually,” said pedestrian Robert Pelletier. “A real nightmare.”

Traffic analyst Rick Leckner suggests implementing rotating shifts for contractors, saying otherwise construction projects risk running past deadlines.

“The risk obviously is that you have a very protracted construction site,” he told Global News.

READ MORE: Residents worried about bus detour on residential street in Côte-des-Neiges

Leckner says it doesn’t make sense that crews are off the job at 5 p.m. or often much earlier when there is so much daylight still available.

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“Do the city officials get out in the streets and see what’s going on for themselves?” he asked.

Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante insists there are places in the city, such as along Ste-Catherine Street, where work is going on around the clock. However, she says doesn’t have enough knowledge of the work on Peel Street to offer advice.

“To be honest, I would definitely just have to to look at the details,” Plante said.

The work on Peel Street and René-Lévesque Boulevard is scheduled to last until Sept. 20.

READ MORE: Controversial new Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue traffic configuration takes effect

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