MONTREAL - Quebec's Transport Ministry has released long-awaited inspection reports on the Turcot Interchange detailing the need for extensive maintenance and repairs until the structure is replaced.

In a press conference Friday, Transport Minister Pierre Moreau admitted that the old interchange "is at the end of its useful life" and will require more attention in the next few years.

But he also tried to reassure motorists that the structure is safe and routinely inspected, saying it's the most closely monitored structure in Canada.

Repairs and upkeep are expected to cost $254 million between now and when the interchange is replaced in 2018.

Built in time for Expo 1967, the Turcot Interchange is a sprawling collection of roadways where the Ville Marie Expressway converges with Highways 15 and 20.

It has been subject to numerous repairs and closures as engineers and construction crews patched holes and weakened pillars.

The interchange's replacement will cost an estimated $3 billion, up 50 per cent from the original $2 billion cost projected by the provincial government.

The new interchange will have a capacity of about 300,000 vehicles per day, while currently 280,000 vehicles use the interchange daily.