Major closures on Turcot now in effect
Published Tuesday, April 12, 2016 3:59PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, April 18, 2016 10:41PM EDT
A day after much of the city's automotive access to the downtown core was shut down, the traffic nightmare many envisioned hasn't materialized. But don't get too comfortable, as experts predict it will hit sooner rather than later.
"Often on Monday we'll see a lighter volume in general and it's possible that people were trying to avoid it," said CJAD traffic reporter Catherine Wood. "Plus, at the bottom of Decarie, we were having closures there already and it caused a lot of backlog, so maybe in general people were avoiding the Turcot interchange anyway."
The transport ministry closed one of two lanes of the Highway 720 west ramp to Highway 15 north on April 18 for three years. No more precise details have been provided as to the exact duration of the closure.
Completing this work will also require the closure of one of two lanes on the ramp from Highway 15 southbound to Highway 720 eastbound in May again to 2019.
This closure also comes as the ramp from Highway 15 north to Highway 720 eastbound will be closed as of April 17 at 11 p.m. until the end of 2017.
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Map: Transport Quebec
Drivers are being asked to avoid the intersection, to car pool, or to take public transit as the multi-year construction project enters a new phase with more major work planned.
More than 2,000 cars use the ramps per hour during rush hour.
Traffic consultant Rick Leckner said the closures will send a lot of cars onto much smaller city streets
“It's going to send a lot of the traffic on to city of Montreal streets on to the municipal network which is just not designed to carry that volume of traffic, so I suspect that Sherbrooke is going to take a hit forget about Notre Dame because parts of Notre Dame are going to be closed around the Turcot interchange.
Leckner expects drivers will end up testing out alternative routes over the summer months, but said he is already worried about the back-to-school period in August and September.
The construction is all due to the construction of the new Turcot interchange, which is expected to be completed by 2020.