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Avoid Highway 20 East and Saint-Pierre interchange on Thanksgiving weekend; major construction planned

Quebec's transport ministry is telling drivers in and around Montreal to avoid the Saint-Pierre Interchange on Thanksgiving weekend as there will be a major closure.

When a similar closure took place in May, cars were lined up bumper-to-bumper along Highway 20 West, and many drivers were stuck in traffic for hours.

Some also missed their flights.

Starting at 9 p.m. on Friday until Tuesday at 5 a.m., Highway 20 will be closed in the eastbound direction at the interchange leading to the Honore-Mercier Bridge. To get downtown, drivers will be re-routed to Highway 13.

"The difference between last time and this time is that headed west, the option was to take the 15 north (Decarie Expressway), which has a lot of traffic already, as opposed to the 13," said MTQ spokesperson Louis-Andre Bertrand. "The 13 is a highway that's really busy on weekdays, so on weekends, there is more capacity to take extra traffic."

Transport Quebec still expects heavy traffic on the weekend, and is advising drives to take highways 40, 440 or 30 to head east.

The work will replace the concrete ramp connecting the Mercier Bridge to Highway 20 West, a change the ministry wants to do in one long weekend.

"We are doing preventative and maintenance work, so we don't have to do those emergency closures that would happen during the weekdays, and that would really impact traffic," said Bertand. "That's why, for this long weekend, for Thanksgiving, we need to do all that work on that ramp."

Traffic analyst Rick Leckner is relieved that the ministry is telling Quebecers in advance.

"The best thing for people to do is check before they head out," he said.

"Check Waze, check Google, check Quebec511 to make sure what's working and what isn't working and then just plan a road around it because there is nothing that is going to effectively replace that stretch of road." Top Stories

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