Construction holiday brings extra roadwork
Published Friday, July 20, 2012 11:24AM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, July 21, 2012 1:14PM EDT
MONTREAL--Quebec's annual construction holiday begins on Friday as 150,000 workers take a mandatory two-week break. The holiday signals the start of road construction on several major arteries kicking into high gear.
With crews that work on buildings taking a break and many other people across the province joining them, transportation departments will take advantage of the reduction in rush hour traffic to close lanes on bridges and highways.
One of the larger projects in the Montreal area will be the complete repaving of the Jacques Cartier Bridge.
Starting at 2:00 a.m on Sunday July 22 and continuing for three days, only one lane in each direction will be open to cars. The following weekend, the closures will happen again, from 2:00 a.m. Saturday, July 28 until 8:00 a.m. Monday, July 30.
Officials with the Jacques Cartier/Champlain Bridge corporation say they wanted to make sure that vacationers could leave town without any problems.
"It's important for us to let people go for the vacation holidays," said Jean-Francois Lacroix. "There will be no work during the day on Saturday we're going to start during the night after the fireworks and after that the second blitz will be next weekend."
In this blitz more than 100 people will be working around the clock to remove old asphalt and replace it with a fresh layer for 108 hours.
The bridge was last repaved ten years ago.
Commuters will still be able to use the bike path, and pedestrians who want to watch the fireworks displays on Saturday, July 21 and Friday, July 27 will be able to do so.
This weekend also marks the start of two long-term closures on the Turcot Interchange.
As of Monday, July 23, drivers heading south on the Decarie Expressway will not be able to turn onto Highway 20 West. That closure will last until an undetermined date in September.
The suggested detour is to continue south through the interchange, then loop around at Exit 62 / De La Verendrye, because drivers heading north on Highway 15 will be able to access Highway 20 West.
Meanwhile starting Saturday July 21 and lasting until the end of August, one of two lanes going from the 720 West through the interchange will be closed.
Heavy vehicles will be limited to those that are less than 3.8 metres wide.
Transports Quebec has taken steps to assist drivers navigate through the construction cones.
It has updated its website with a trip planner that takes roadwork into account.