Quebec's new transport minister fielded questions Monday about why a low overpass in Ste. Julie that was damaged by a tractor trailer last week had yet to be replaced.

Pierre Moreau -- in his new position as transport minister, taking over from Sam Hamad after a cabinet shuffle last week -- said another construction project prevented work on the Fer a Cheval Rd. overpass, where a 20-by-30-centimetre chunk of concrete fell Thursday, closing Highway 20 eastbound in the area.

Work is instead being done just north of that overpass to create a detour system before they tear down the low-hanging structure.

"This overpass was built in 1964 and at that point, the minimum requirement was 4.3 metres," said Moreau, adding that the tractor trailer that rammed into the structure was too high.

New regulations now require a five-metre clearance.

Questions on ongoing construction

Meantime, some questioned the wisdom of the simultaneous lane closures on the Decarie Expressway and the approach to the Turcot Interchange

"There are new problems. They opened the highway exit ramp when you're coming back from downtown, but that just means Girouard and Sherbrooke are more blocked up than ever," said NDG councillor Peter McQueen

Moreau said he is relying on the work of former Transport Minister Sam Hamad, who has already enacted measures he said would shortly improve congestion in Montreal, including adding 40 kilometres to the 200 kilometres of existing reserved bus lanes in the city, and 50 new buses to the roads.

"I'm looking forward to going ahead with those measures and other to make sure the situation improves for commuters," said Moreau.