Drivers beware: reduced lanes are greeting motorists as they cross the Île-aux-Tourtes bridge.
Only two lanes out of three are open in the westbound direction between 2 a.m. and 1 p.m. on weekdays. And only two out of three lanes are open in the eastbound direction between 11 a.m. and 4 a.m.
Crews are repairing and reinforcing existing support pillars and the driving deck. The work began July 4th and could continue for the next three years.
“It’s been going on for the 11 years that we’ve lived over in Hudson,” Caroline Bonnell, a frequent user of the bridge, told Global News.
There are plans to eventually replace the span but it’s still years from materializing. The bidding process hasn’t begun.
“Right now we’re in the planning process and it’s really too early right now in terms of the stage of the process to know exactly when construction would start and when it would end,” Louis-André Bertrand, a spokesperson for Transports Québec, told Global News.
Transports Québec is spending tens of millions of dollars on repairs and maintenance each year on the bridge. The mayor of Vaudreuil-Dorion says millions could be saved if the government sped up the delivery date of the new bridge.
”We won’t have a bridge before 10 or 12 years. It’s nonsense. I think there is a way to go faster than that,” Guy Pilon said.
Many people are anxiously awaiting a new bridge, not feeling safe driving over the existing île-aux-Tourtes.
”I don’t feel safe driving over the Pont Île-aux-Tourtes ever. I usually try to take the 20 just because I don’t like the pont,” Megan Desgroseilliers, told Global News.
Nearly 87,000 vehicles a day cross the bridge according to the latest findings of Transports-Québec’s webpage on the Pont île-aux-Tourtes.
It is the main gateway for commercial trade between Toronto and Montreal and it’s the busiest link for travellers coming on and off the western tip of the Island of Montreal.