Use public transit, city urges St. Patrick's Day revelers: Intense weekend of roadwork ahead

It's the trifecta of traffic issues: work on the Turcot Interchange and the old Champlain Bridge along with the St. Patrick's Day parade will make for a tricky commute this weekend.

Ramps of Turcot, Ville Saint-Pierre interchanges closed in this weekend, more closures downtown for parade

Along with the annual parade Sunday, there will be several additional closures around Montreal this weekend due to demolition work on the old Turcot Interchange and the old Champlain Bridge. (Graham Hughes/Canadian Press)

More than 50,000 people are expected to take part in St. Patrick's Day festivities on Sunday, but the city is urging parade-goers to use public transit because of ongoing road closures.   

The annual parade will run along de Maisonneuve Boulevard this year because of construction on its usual Ste-Catherine Street route. 

The parade kicks off at noon at the corner of City Councillors Street and will end at Mackay Street. Surrounding streets will be closed from 7 a.m. until around 5 p.m.

"Everyone will be welcome to the St. Patrick's Day parade but our invitation comes with one [piece of] advice: you better come by public transit. Use the buses and subway," said city spokesperson Philippe Sabourin.

The parade coincides with an intense weekend of roadwork and related closures around the city. 

Provincial transport officials are recommending drivers plan their routes ahead of time, as demolition work on the old Turcot Interchange and the old Champlain Bridge will be underway.

"It's two major projects with deadlines that are very close. For the Turcot Interchange they need to do the dismantling so that needs to be done to prepare for the construction of the new project," said Martin Girard, a spokesperson for the Quebec Transport Ministry.

"We will have important work in this area for the next few months ... but this has to be done so the projects can be finished on the deadline."

Highway closures

During the weekend of March 16, nine of the Turcot Interchange's 12 ramps will be closed. (MTQ)
The following closures are in effect from Friday midnight until Monday 5 a.m.

Highway 20/ Ville-Marie Expressway:

  • Westbound: Closed between Exit 5 (Robert-Bourassa Blvd./Champlain Bridge/Victoria Bridge) to the Ville Saint-Pierre Interchange in Lachine.
  • Eastbound: Closed from 1st Avenue exit ramp to Angrignon entrance ramp. Then the eastbound Ville-Marie is closed from Turcot interchange until the de la Cathédrale/Notre-Dame entrance ramp.
    Construction around the Ville Saint-Pierre Interchange will mean closures along Highway 20 eastbound. (MTQ)

Expect delays getting to airport

Anyone heading to Trudeau airport this weekend should avoid taking Highway 20 or 13, where roadwork may lead to delays. Instead, drivers should get there via Highway 40 and the 520 (Côte-de-Liesse).

Champlain Bridge

The 10 East for the Champlain Bridge will be closed all weekend and so will some ramps for Nuns' Island. (MTQ)
Heading toward the South Shore will be tricky this weekend too.
  • Highway 10 eastbound (the Bonaventure) is closed between Exit 4 (the Turcot Interchange) and Nuns' Island.

From the 15 southbound:

  • The exit onto Nuns' Island for Chemin de la Pointe-Nord (Exit 57) is closed.
  • The Atwater exit is also closed all weekend.

People are urged to take either the Victoria or Jacques-Cartier bridges. The Victoria Bridge will have two lanes open in the southbound direction this weekend.