Montrealers can expect to see a series of orange cones this fall as roadwork projects continue across the city.
Major construction projects — including those on city roads and highways, and bridges linking the island to its suburbs — are already underway. Some are slated to start next month.
“I will tell you that for Montreal there is no surprises for the start of the school year,” said city spokesperson Philippe Sabourin. He added he realizes roadwork “won’t be easy” but that’s why officials are constantly planning.
In the West Island, work for the upcoming light-rail train network (REM) could make for a tricky commute starting in September. For example, the construction of a light-rail structure near St-Jean Boulevard means a section of the left lane of the service road next to Highway 40 eastbound will be closed to traffic until November.
Other projects west of the city — including maintenance work to the Des Sources overpass above Highway 20 and major roadwork on Highway 520 in Dorval — are continuing as planned. The latter has led to the closure of 55th Avenue for at least two years.
There is some reprieve for drivers, however. The overhaul of the Turcot Interchange, which began in 2016, is nearly complete. Officials say most of the structure will be open by the end of the fall.
WATCH: Turcot construction (aired Aug 22, 2019)
Traffic officials do say that, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, many cars are on the road in the Montreal area. Sarah Bensadoun, a spokesperson for Quebec’s Transport Ministry, explained that traffic isn’t intense during rush-hour but there is still congestion throughout the day and on weekends.
“Actually the traffic flow is different but we still have lots of cars on the network,” she said.
When it comes to Montreal, authorities warn that there will still be construction and road closures downtown and in the Southwest borough during the fall.
“Griffintown is heavily affected by construction sites,” said Sabourin. Sections of Peel, William and Ottawa streets remain closed until December.
In the downtown core, motorists can expect Ste-Catherine Street between de Bleury and Mansfield streets to be off-limits until the end of the year. Starting in September, city work being carried out in Philipps Square will also lead to partial closures of Union and Cathcart streets until December 2021.
There is some good news, though. Work is expected to temporarily wrap on Doctor-Penfield Avenue this September, which has been closed between MacTavish and des Pins roads since June.
Further east, De Maisonneuve Boulevard between Papineau and St-Timothee streets remains off-limits until at least next year due to ongoing work to the city’s water system.
Other construction sites include the creation of a bike path network along St-Denis Street through the city. The Réseau express vélo path has led to partial closures on the main artery as well as Lajeunesse and Berri streets. It is expected to wrap up by the end of the fall, but an exact date has not been set.
When asked about merchants’ displeasure with the bike path and cyclists’ urging a boycott of certain stores as a result, Sabourin said they are taking those into consideration.
“Maybe there will be adjustments to make but we are listening.”
This is a partial list of the roadwork slated for this fall. The full rundown of projects can be found on the Montreal Mobility website.