Anyone travelling on highway 40 on Montreal’s West Island this weekend will likely encounter heavier than usual congestion.
That’s because a section of it is closed until Monday morning to allow for the demolition of the final section of the old highway 13 overpass.
Transport Quebec authorities say the work will make it unsafe for vehicles travelling on highway 40 underneath, and that’s why they shut down the thoroughfare in the highway 13 vicinity. Highway 13 south is also closed.
“It’s part of a project that started in 2018,” the agency’s spokesperson Martin Girard explained during a media tour of the work site Saturday morning. “It’s the rebuilding of the highway 13 and 40 interchanges, so it’s a major work.”
The project is expected to cost taxpayers close to $60 million and is supposed to wrap up in 2021.
Girard pointed out that most of the new portion of highway 13 has already been erected.
“Since last December, people have been driving on new structures on both directions,” he said.
The work is being done in the Saint-Laurent borough. According to authorities there, the project has caused some disruption for the tens of thousands of people who work in the nearby industrial sector, and that the work this weekend was the lesser of two evils.
“There’s less people going in and out to work,” he told Global News, “and my hope is that this will be done easily, conveniently, with little risk to the community and with little disruption to traffic patterns.”
Still, for other commuters, the result Saturday was traffic congestion for kilometres in both directions on highway 40. Motorists are being diverted to other routes.
“We invite people to plan their trip,” Girard said.
For example, for drivers planning to go to the airport, if you’re coming from the west part of the island, highway 20 and highway 520 are the better options.
The transport authority is also advising people to consider using highways 20 and 30 on the South Shore, or even highway 15 (Décarie and the Laurentians) and highways 440 or 640.
They want drivers to avoid the area until the highways reopen Monday at 5 a.m.