MONTREAL - As Montrealers are well aware, long weekends mean long waits in traffic.

The agency that operates the Champlain bridge is explicitly telling drivers to stay away this weekend, as traffic flow will be reduced to one northbound lane and two southbound lanes.

The closures begin at 11 p.m. Friday, and will continue until 5 a.m. Monday, however in the event of bad weather, the planned work could be delayed or cancelled.

Drivers coming into Montreal should be aware that the lane will be narrower than normal, and that at only 3.3 metres, some trucks will not be able to fit.

As an alternative, people can use the Jacques Cartier, the Mercier, or the Victoria bridges.

The federal bridge authority, Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated, has said it will adjust traffic flow on the Victoria bridge so that two lanes coming into the city will be open from 9 a.m to 9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Work is expected to continue on weekends throughout the spring as crew strengthen beams and replace expansion joints.

In August the Champlain bridge will be closed every weekend while the bridge deck is repaved.

For a full schedule, click here  or visit the bridge's blog at .