Prep work for Formula E causing multiple delays and detours
Published Wednesday, July 19, 2017 11:42AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, July 19, 2017 7:13PM EDT
The Formula E race takes place on the final weekend in July, but the preparation work is causing plenty of problems for those who work and live in the area.
The racetrack runs along René Levesque Blvd., Viger St., Notre Dame St. and Saint Antoine St. between Berri St. and Papineau Ave., surrounding the Radio-Canada building and isolating parts of the Gay Village.
For the past year construction crews have been repairing repaving the streets in that area, and over the past few weeks began installing walls, grandstands, and other equipment necessary for the race, including 1,725 concrete barriers, 1,500 sections of fence, and 500 shock-absorbing barriers.
On Wednesday morning they started closing streets at the eastern end of the Ville Marie Autoroute, closing southbound Papineau Ave. and creating lengthy delays for those entering and exiting the highway.
Over the next week, as René Levesque is closed, parking will be banned in the area, and some one-way streets will allow traffic in both directions.
The full details are complicated and subject to change. The city of Montreal has posted the latest information on its website, and sent flyers to those living and working in the area.
However residents say it's too confusing, and whatever information is transmitted is incomplete.
"We are not advised of what happens. They put bans on parking in the night and you don't know why. You call the municipality and they don't call you back. You have no solution. For us it's a catastrophe," said one man.
The STM has also altered the routes for 15 buses including the 14, 15, 30, 125, 129, 150, 330, 338, 361, 364, 410, 427, 430, 715, and the 747.
On the weekend of the race, people living inside the racetrack will only be able to have access by walking over purpose-built bridges.
Those residents say it is already becoming impossible to live in the area, ten days before the race, with people saying they cannot get groceries to their homes.
Once the race is over the return to normal will not be swift.
City crews will begin dismantling the racetrack on either July 30 or 31, and anticipate it will take ten days to remove all the barriers, fencing, and other items.