After years of delay and political wrangling, construction on the Highway 30 extension along Montreal's South Shore is set to begin.
The completion of the autoroute, which will allow car and truck traffic to bypass the island, is a pretty straightforward job, according to project director Paul Fournier.
"We've done the geotechnical sounding; we know what the underground is. It's really standard engineering work; it's not really difficult," Fournier said, as crews began placing concrete barriers to close one of the lanes leading to what will be a new interchange on Tuesday morning.
The section of the extension that is currently under construction should be completed in about a year, Fournier said, with entire project slated for completion by 2012.
One of the last major hurdles to the extension was overcome on the weekend when the provincial government reached an agreement with Mohawks whose land will be crossed by the extension.
The province has agreed to give the Mohawks more land if they allow the work to go ahead uninterrupted, a move Kahnawake Grand Chief Michael Delisle called "a gesture of goodwill."
Delisle said that agreement will put pressure on the federal government to deal with the Mohawk band's other outstanding land-claim issues.
While the highway extension is good news for some, farmers in the area are less than pleased.
There's already enough traffic in the area, said Bernard Bourdeau, whose property abuts one of the smaller roads that will be part of the project.
"Take a look," he said Tuesday morning, pointing to the cars and trucks speeding past the small vineyard he keeps. "Morning and night, it's always like that."
Bourdeau is certain the increased traffic on Highway 30 will worsen the noise and pollution in the area, and make it even more difficult for him to get to his property.