Turcot Interchange detours for ramp closures irk NDG mayor

Côte-des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-de-Grâce Mayor Russell Copeman said the work on the Turcot Interchange may be necessary, but the mitigation measures Transports Québec is suggesting don’t necessarily make a lot of sense.

Drivers trying to access Highway 720E or 20W will have to make 5km detour

Ramp closures relating to the rebuilding of the Turcot Interchange will result in a long detour for drivers, particularly those trying to access the 20W or 720E from the South Shore and the Champlain Bridge. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)

Major work is about to begin on the Turcot Interchange, with several ramps being shut down as of next Monday.

Transports Québec will close both exit ramps on Highway 15 North that go onto the Ville-Marie Expressway at the Turcot Interchange — for 2 months. 

The proposed detours:

  • For drivers heading downtown from the South Shore via Highway 15N/Champlain Bridge, take Decarie to Cote St-Luc and then loop around heading southbound to access Highway 720E ramp.
  • For drivers heading to Montreal-Trudeau airport from the South Shore via Highway 15N/Champlain Bridge, take Décarie to Côte Saint-Luc and then loop around heading southbound to access the Highway 20W ramp.

The ministry is recommending drivers coming from the south continue northbound along Highway 15 past Turcot and exit the Décarie Expressway at Côte-Saint-Luc Road. They can then loop around back onto the Décarie Expressway south in order to take the Ville-Marie Expressway east or west.

For many commuters, that will mean a five-kilometre detour through the borough of Côte-des-Neiges—​Notre-Dame-de-Grâce from March 31 until June, and that has borough mayor Russell Copeman upset over what he said is a lack of communication.

“What I find difficult to accept is that we get about 24 hours' notice via a press release announcing that in a week that those two interchanges will close and that the suggested detour brings people to the corner of Décarie and Côte-Saint-Luc Road,” Copeman said.

He said the work on the Turcot Interchange may very well be necessary, but the mitigation measures Transports Québec suggests don’t necessarily make a lot of sense.

Copeman said he doesn’t understand why Transports Québec didn’t suggest alternate routes to drivers, such as getting downtown by using the Bonaventure Expressway after exiting the Champlain Bridge. 
Highway's 15 North's exit ramps for the 720 will be closed until June. (CBC)
​ “That intersection is already under tremendous pressure because of the closure of the Ville-Marie on-ramp at St-Jacques, because of upcoming work on Sherbrooke Street,” he continued.

Russell Copeman, CDN-NDG mayor, says it's "mind-boggling" that TQ would tell motorists heading downtown to take a detour via Côte-Saint-Luc Road.

Transports Québec said it has been communicating regularly with city officials about coordinating roadwork efforts.

The ministry told CBC it's willing to discuss more issues with the borough if other concerns arise over the next few months.

Rick Leckner, a city representative who sits on a ministry transport committee, said the ministry didn't have a lot of options.​

"There's a pretty brief window of what has to be done, and so much work to be done. There is a lot of work that was urgent," Leckner said, adding that the project was supposed to have been discussed further at this month's committee meeting — but the meeting was cancelled.

"The reason I was given was there were insufficient items for the agenda. That's their opinion — I question it."

Leckner says it's too late now to argue — the project's wheels are in motion.


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