Drivers on Montreal’s south shore will have to get familiar with new lane configurations along Highway 132 eastbound in Longueuil.
On Monday, concrete barriers were installed separating the four-lane highway into three lanes, in an act to help congestion ahead of road work scheduled for the Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine Tunnel.
Drivers will have to carefully read the overhead traffic signs before choosing to get on the 132 East towards Varennes, the 25 North and the 20 East, direction Quebec City.
The Transport Ministry says the dividers are meant to help ease traffic and reduce collisions along the busy stretch of road.
“The idea is to ease the traffic during the work in the tunnel and it is also a safety measure,” spokesperson Martin Girard said.
“People that use this highway frequently know that some drivers try to go into other lanes at the last minute. It will no longer be possible. It will now be safer for drivers.”
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Signs indicating the new layout have been installed a kilometre and a half away from the lane entry to warn motorists.
Girard says painted signs on the roadway also mark the upcoming direction.
Drivers who enter the wrong lane will be forced to continue with no way to exit.
Girard admits the detours will be significant if you are not careful behind the wheel.
“It takes time to adapt, that’s why we are starting it now so people can get used to it before the closing of the tunnel,” Girard said.
The partial closure of the tunnel is slated to begin in November.
Girard says the tunnel will be closed towards the south shore first, with only three lanes open.
Traffic in the tunnel will continue to follow in both directions at a reduced capacity.
What Girard described as major repair work is expected to last for the next three years, ending in 2025.