The Turcot Interchange will have undergo some serious construction in the next few years. A study commissioned by the Quebec Ministry of transport shows the structure of the overpasses is cracking.
The Turcot interchange links the following highways:
Poor drainage in the past means water has penetrated the structure of the overpasses, and has corroded it.
A report on the state of the overpass by SNC Lavalin for Transports Québec is quoted as saying chunks as big as one-square-metre have been falling off the overpasses for the last two years.
However, Paul Fournier, a spokesperson for Transports Québec, says he's doubtful that the information is accurate.
"As far as I know, I checked this morning with the guys responsible for that section of the highway, and they told me: 'No, that has not happened... lately'," Fournier says.
Avoidable, says engineer
Local engineers say even cracks in the structure should have been detected long ago.
McGill University engineering professor Saeed Mirza says better inspection would prevent these problems, and says the Turcot Interchange isn't the only place in Montreal with troubles.
"The significant examples are the Champlain Bridge, the Ile-aux-Tourtes Bridge, and unfortunately, we civil engineers never pay enough attention to drainage of the bridges," says Mirza.
The Ministry of Transport says although it will know what to do about the Turcot Interchange by the fall, it will take at least five years for work to begin.