Lafontaine Tunnel under repair after RV fire
Transport Minister Robert Poëti says tunnel's electrical wiring damaged after RV caught fire
- All three lanes of the northbound Lafontaine tunnel are open until 7 p.m. Friday evening
- After 7 p.m., only one lane will be open until Saturday morning
- As of Saturday morning, all three lanes will be available again.
The driver of an RV that caught fire in Montreal's Lafontaine Tunnel on Thursday morning will soon be getting a hefty bill.
Mario Tremblay of Contrôle routier Québec said the driver and his insurance company will be responsible for covering the costs of the repairs to the Lafontaine Tunnel, which underwent considerable damage, particularly to its electrical and lighting systems.
Officials said the fire was caused by a mechanical problem in the vehicle's engine.
The driver will also likely face a hefty fine — upwards of $2,100 — and demerit points on his licence for hauling more propane than allowed into the tunnel.
The Highway Safety Code says the maximum amount of propane allowed inside a tunnel is two 46-litres tanks. Transport officials say the driver was carrying 216 litres — more than double the allowable limit.
Tremblay said the driver will also likely face difficulty in getting vehicle insurance in the future, as well.
All three lanes of the tunnel opened for Friday morning's rush hour, and Transports Quebec said the tunnel would be fully open again for Friday afternoon rush hour.
However, the tunnel will be partly closed on and off over the course of the weekend and on Monday so crews can finish repairing the damage done by the fire.
The Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridge Corporation said it would push back work scheduled for the weekend to accommodate a higher influx of traffic on the Jacques Cartier Bridge.
On both Thursday and Friday, afternoon traffic from the South Shore going toward Montreal was at a standstill for hours at the tunnel, and wasn't much better on the two main bridges connecting the South Shore to Montreal.