MONTREAL - The city of Montreal has shut down a pedestrian overpass that crosses the Cote de Liesse expressway, but still deems it safe enough that cars can continue passing underneath it.

"There is no risk of the overpass crumbling, that's not an issue at all," said city of Montreal spokesman Gonzalo Nunez. "This is a preventive measure we're taking because some elements of the structure are not up to the safety levels."

The overpass is just east of 32nd Avenue and approximately 400 pedestrians cross over it every day. People who work at Rolls Royce will be particularly affected by the closure because the company has buildings on either side of the expressway.

The detour for pedestrians involves walking to either 43rd Avenue or Highway 13, a walk that can take up to an hour.

Still, in spite of the inconvenience, there was some relief from regular users of the overpass who grew nervous walking across it.

"It looked terrible actually," said Ali Mahvash, a Rolls Royce employee. "Some patches (came) off, they had put a wooden plate on it, and the power cables were very close and there were chances if you're tall your head would snag on the cables."

Mahvash's co-worker agrees.

"It scared me a few times before," said Mitch Karimi. "But it's (been) four and a half years I'm working here (and) we got used to the risk."

Nunez says the overpass passed its inspection last year.

"We did an additional inspection this week and we found out that due to environmental conditions, the structure was in a different state," he added.

The city says the structure will be either repaired or completely rebuilt, but that work won't begin until 2012 at the earliest.