Montreal

Overhead grids coming down in Viger Tunnel

More than 150 concrete grids will be removed in Montreal's Viger Tunnel three months after one of the supports holding them up collapsed onto the highway.
More than 100,000 people a day use the tunnel. (CBC)

Three months after 25-tonnes of concrete came crashing down in Montreal’s Viger Tunnel, the province is removing all of the overhead concrete grids and support pillars.

The grid panels are designed to dim the outside light so drivers can adjust their eyes as they go in and out of the tunnel.

But engineers have said the shades and the beams that hold them up are in serious disrepair.

A beam supporting the grids collapsed in July. (CBC)
In July, a support for those shades crashing down on the highway near Hôtel-de-Ville Street.

No vehicles were on the road at the time and no one was hurt.

Since then, Transport Quebec installed pillars to support the grids, but the supports blocked one lane of the highway.

"What we want to do is make all the lanes available," said spokesperson Caroline Larose.

Now, all 154 grids and 18 beams will be removed and special lighting will be installed.

The cost of that work hasn’t been disclosed, but Radio-Canada reports that emergency work done after the July collapse cost upwards of $900,000.

Larose maintained that the tunnel is still safe to use.

About 100,000 people pass through it everyday during the week.

Transport Quebec said the work wouldn’t require highway closures on weekdays.

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