Transport Quebec has unveiled a new multi-billion dollar plan to revamp the crumbling Turcot Interchange, prompting disapproval from detractors.

The project, slated to begin this fall and be completed by 2018, will cost an estimated $3 billion, up 50 per cent from the original $2 billion cost projected by the provincial government.

The new interchange, announced Tuesday by said Transport Minister Sam Hamad, will have a capacity of about 300,000 vehicles per day, while currently 280,000 vehicles use the interchange daily.

Traffic through the Turcot Interchange is expected to drop upon completion of Highways 25 and 30.

A reserve bus and taxi lane will be added between Ville St. Pierre and the Ville Marie Expressway.

Click here to see the differences between the current interchange and the plans for the Turcot.

The project will also include an emergency lane, a proposed tramway, and the creation of new public spaces, as well as room for urban development and sound barriers for those living nearby.

"So for Westmounters, especially those south of Westmount, it will be a great relief with regard to sound," said Westmount Mayor Peter Trent. Still, he said it will come with frustrations.

"Putting the entire island of Montreal through the agony of construction for six years is not going to be fun," he said.

Hamad said the project will create 43,000 jobs, with calls for building new structures before dismantling the current roadway, in order to lessen the impact on motorists.

About 100 residents to be expropriated

The Quebec government said it followed 37 of 39 recommendations it received from the bureau of public hearings, and now plans to expropriate about 100 residents in four buildings, as opposed to the initial plan to expropriate 22 buildings.

Those opposing the plan say the reduction is not good enough.

"It's worse for the people who live there," said Vision Montreal leader Louise Harel.

Protesters gathered near the Turcot Interchange Tuesday to express their frustration.

The group of nearby residents and supporters said the plan ignores those who live near the highway, and they feel a smaller-scale project is the only solution.

Though the plan spared 18 buildings, those against the project said tearing down buildings like a cultural hub on St. Remi St. is a waste.

"It is an old industrial factory that has been recycled into a ‘milieu culturel' and they're all going to be expropriated, so yes all the artists, artisans and new media people will be expropriated from their loft," said Derek Robertson of the group Mobilisation Turcot.

St. Henri father of four Manuel Johnson said he has another concern -- increased pollution and negative health effects.

"We're going to be exposed to the same higher level risk for health problems that me and my family have already experienced being so close to the highway," he said, adding that he can't afford to move.

"As soon as I have the means, I'll move away from the highway, but we can't expect all these people to just move away because it's bad for their health," he said.

Bergeron calls new plan scandalous

Montreal Mayor Gérald Tremblay, who had pushed for more emphasis on public transportation, said the plan is a compromise between what the province and city had proposed.

"I think that we did basically everything that we could to improve public transport," he said.

"There was no public transport in the original plan."

Projet Montreal leader Richard Bergeron, who worked with Tremblay and city planners on a greener version of the interchange, said what's left is scandalous and nothing more than a glorified highway.

Bergeron said there isn't enough green space left to create the neighbourhood intended in his plans.

"It makes no sense. This neighbourhood will never exist. It's impossible," he said.

Tremblay said there is still room for tinkering with the architecture and design of the project.

Built in time for Expo1967, 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.

An interactive map and video about the new interchange are available here (French only).

Click here to see the differences between the current interchange and the plans for the Turcot.