Use public transit or prepare to sit in traffic this coming year, province warns
City pushing for people to get on the bus as major roadwork projects continue
Montreal drivers are facing yet another year of detours, road closures and orange cones as roadwork continues on major projects including the Turcot Interchange and the Champlain Bridge, as well as work on Highways 25 and 720.
Transports Québec spokesperson Sarah Bensadoun says there will be so many detours in place, motorists should avoid navigating using their GPS devices.
"It's very easy, very simple, if you still continue using your car, especially solo cars, you will be stuck in traffic. There is no other option. You will be stuck in traffic, you will have a detour or several detours for example if you miss your exit. So make sure to plan accordingly," she said.
Click on the image below for a closer look at the geometry of the new interchange:
In light of the upcoming traffic chaos, the province and the City of Montreal have announced a $48.7-million investment in public transit measures, which will go toward increased service on different bus lines and more parking spaces at terminal stations.
"It is necessary to use public transit. It's no longer an option," Bensadoun said.
Heading west will be a challenge
One major hindrance will be caused by the eight-week-long closure of the ramp leading from Highway 15 northbound to Highway 20 westbound, which will happen by mid-September.
Motorists will have to choose between two different detours. Exit 62 at de la Vérendrye Boulevard will be modified to allow drivers easier access to Saint-Patrick Street.
Click on this map for a closer look at the detour options:
The other option would see drivers continue on Highway 15 northbound to Côte-St-Luc Rd., and then backtrack on Highway 15 southbound to Highway 20 westbound ramp. Officials stressed the latter option should be a last resort, as Côte-St-Luc is already seeing dense traffic.
For the Champlain Bridge, the Montreal-bound reserved lane will see its morning schedule extended during rush hour. The same will be done on the Bonaventure Highway heading downtown.
$48.7M for transit
In an effort to bolster the number of public transit users, a number of extra parking places will be added to parking lots: 550 spaces at the Panama lot in Brossard, 54 more spots at the Montcalm-Candiac lot and 58 spots in the Saint-Constant lot.
Longueuil's regional transit authority (RTL) will also add new bus lines, with service to and from the Montarville and Longueuil terminuses, as well at the Saint-Hubert train station.
With files from Jaela Bernstien