Roadwork begins today on Highway 132 bridge in the Gaspé

People driving between New Richmond and Maria, in the Gaspé, will have access to a new detour as work begins on the region's main bridge.

Bridge over Grand Cascapedia River has been closed to traffic since May, causing 11.5-km detour

Highway 132 stretches across the Gaspé peninsula and crosses over the Grand Cascapedia River. (Marika Wheeler/CBC)

Repairs to the bridge crossing over the Grand Cascapédia River on Highway 132, on the Gaspé peninsula, will begin on Monday, nearly five months after it was closed to traffic.

Officials closed the bridge back in May during heavy spring flooding, when one of the support pillars which stands in the river tilted away from the bridge and caused a significant dip in the road way.

Residents, tourists and heavy trucks have since been forced to make an 11.5-kilometre detour to travel between New Richmond and Maria.

The Quebec Ministry of Transport has awarded the $6.2 million contract to a local engineering firm, Sani-Sable L.B. 

The work is expected to last until June 2018.

New detour for residents

Vehicles heading west towards Maria will take a new route as of Oct. 9.

The Ministry of Transport says this will ease traffic on MacKay Road, the existing detour that was used all summer.

The Gaspé peninsula saw major flooding last spring. In May one of the bridge's support pillars shifted, causing a depression of the road way. (Marika Wheeler/CBC)
''Westbound traffic will be redirected towards municipal roads while motorists going east will follow MacKay road,'' said spokesperson Alexandre Bougie.
Bougie said another $1.6 million contract was awarded to complete paving work on this new detour.
Westbound traffic will use the new detour while vehicles going east will continue using MacKay Road, on the right. (Google maps)

With files from Radio-Canada