Authorities hoping to cope with increased traffic
Published Saturday, September 3, 2011 6:03PM EDT
MONTREAL - An oft-exasperating summer of motoring came with a silver lining: road fatalities are down.
Fifteen fewer people died on Quebec roads during the first eight months of this year compared to last, as 187 deaths were recorded on provincial roads, as compared to 202 last year.
The proliferation of roadwork, traffic cones and detours might have kept some drivers at home but the week upcoming is usually one which sees the highest totals of traffic during the entire year, so the white-knuckle, bumper-to-bumper scene is far from over.
Those upcoming jams could likely be on places such as the Mercier Bridge, which was shut down midway through June and was slated to reopen Tuesday. Transport Quebec is now saying that it can no longer ensure a timely reopening but hope to have good news early Tuesday.
However they add that the westbound approach to the Mercier will be closed for eight consecutive weekends.
Police, meanwhile, say they will be on the lookout for dangerous drivers this long weekend, particularly around construction zones.
"We're well aware that most serious conditions are due to either alcohol or speeding or drugs or fatigue behind the wheel," said Daniel Thibodeau of the Quebec provincial police. "So these are things that our officers at over 119 stations throughout the province will be looking at this weekend."