St-Jacques exit in NDG to close again

Transports Québec says it will close the St-Jacques exit off the Ville-Marie Expressway from February until September of this year.
Cars ease through the St-Jacques exit in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce early Wednesday morning. (CBC/Steve Rukavina)

Drivers in Montreal's West End will face major traffic headaches for the second year in a row as the St-Jacques exit will be closed again.

Transport Quebec said it will close the exit, which is off the Ville-Marie Expressway in Montreal's Côte-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough, from February until September of this year.

The exit will be closed while a new road is built from the exit to the Glen Yards superhospital construction site. The same exit was closed for most of 2011 while the city worked on sewers near the site.

Transport Quebec spokesperson Alain Dubé said it wasn't possible to do both jobs at once last year.

"At that time we were not ready," said Dubé. "[An] agreement between Montreal, the MTQ and the CUSM to build that access was not settled."

Montreal city planner Alain Trudeau said the hospital's plans weren't advanced enough last year to begin working on the road.

But Trudeau also said he believes the effects will be less than last year because now residents are accustomed to traffic disruptions in the area.

"People are used to (living) with this," said Trudeau.

Transport Quebec is not sure when in February the exit will close.

Superhospital on schedule: MUHC

The closing was announced Tuesday night at a public meeting on the superhospital held by the McGill University Health Centre. The meeting was attended by about 180 people, and featured presentations by the MUHC, the city, Transport Quebec, and the STM.

The MUHC said construction of the hospital is on schedule, and should be finished in late 2014, with the first patients being admitted in the summer of 2015.