Drivers, be warned: Angrignon Blvd. is now down to one lane at Highway 20 interchange
Traffic lights reconfigured, police in place to help ease traffic congestion, Transport Ministry says
Getting around Montreal's west end is going to be a whole lot harder starting Monday. Angrignon Boulevard will be half as wide for about a year.
Crews will be dismantling the bridge over the Lachine Canal and rebuilding it piece by piece. To do that, traffic will be reduced from four lanes to two — one for each north and south direction.
The bridge will first be demolished on one side and then the other, meaning traffic will be pushed to the opposite side and then other for the entire 12-month period, according to Transports Québec spokesperson Martin Girard.
"At first, the traffic will be on one side of the overpass over the Lachine Canal while other part is dismantled and rebuilt," he said.
"Next summer, the traffic will be transferred on the new part of the overpass, to permit the dismantled and rebuilding of the other half."
Girard said the project will be carefully orchestrated to ensure the utmost safety, but the work is complicated.
"Everything is put in place to make sure the area is safe for drivers," he said.
However, motorists should avoid the interchange when possible, plan their routes, carpool or rely on public transit instead.
The series of traffic lights — lights which are already the epicentre of daily traffic jams in the area — will be reprogrammed to help keep vehicles moving, he said, and Montreal police will be onsite directing drivers.
"It's not easy," he said. "It will have an impact on traffic on this area."
It's a tight space, he said, which will make it difficult to get heavy trucks through the interchange which serves as a divider between NDG and LaSalle, just a stone's throw from the Angrignon Mall.
LaSalle Coun. Richard Deschamps said that, since the summer, the borough has been pushing for the project to be scheduled well after the December shopping season.
City officials then teamed up with Transports Québec to ensure the project's impact on traffic is mitigated as much as possible.
"At the beginning we were not very happy," he said. "At least we succeeded to have a lot of gain considering the impact we are having with this construction."
With files from Isaac Olson and Valeria Cori-Manocchio