Montreal is getting a new, bigger Île-aux-Tourtes bridge
New bridge features reserved lanes for buses and bike path
The Île-aux-Tourtes bridge, a crucial and often traffic-clogged artery connecting Vaudreuil-Dorion to the west of the island of Montreal, is going to be replaced.
The new structure will be 50 per cent larger to accommodate reserved lanes for buses and a bike path.
A project notice of the plan was quietly posted on the provincial Environment Ministry's website last week.
Roughly 83,000 vehicles use the Île-aux-Tourtes bridge every day, including 9,000 trucks.
The Quebec government views it as "a critical infrastructure that is part of the strategic road network."
The new bridge will be 45 meters wide, instead of 29 meters. It will still have three lanes per direction, but the shoulders will be wider to allow dedicated lanes for buses. Currently, buses run in the middle of traffic.
The timing of the project is not yet established, but the government document estimates that the planning could take six years and the completion of four to five years, which would give a new bridge in 2029 or 2030.
The project is expected to cost several hundred million dollars.
The existing structure, built in 1965, has had to undergo costly repairs. The government has already injected $87 million to maintain the bridge and another $45 million is expected to be spent by 2028.
It hasn't been decided if the old bridge will be dismantled either after the construction of the new bridge or during it.
Vaudreuil-Dorion Mayor Guy Pilon said he's pleased that the government has followed the recommendations of elected officials in the region who were calling for dedicated lanes for buses.
"This is excellent news," he said.
The Réseau express métropolitain will also have a terminus at Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, on the western side of the bridge.
Based on reporting by Radio-Canada's Thomas Gerbet