Drivers are being told to start making other plans if they usually travel through the Turcot Interchange – and to not ignore this warning.
The major east-west ramps through the Turcot interchange will be closed between Nov. 8 and Nov. 13, which means weekday closures.
- Highway 20 west will close from midnight Thursday until 5 a.m. Tuesday
- Highway 20 east will close from 10:30 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Tuesday
- Highway 15 north from Exit 58 to Decarie Expressway will close from 10:30 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Monday
Other construction taking place this weekend will require the following closures.
- One lane of Highway 20 West will be closed between the Pullman St. entrance and the St. Pierre interchange from midnight Friday until 5 a.m. Monday
- One lane will be open in each direction on the Mercier Bridge from 10 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Monday
“It's going to be a big phase to dismantle the old 15 north,” said Olivier Beaulieu, assistant director of the Turcot project, as he met with the media Friday.
“The 15 north is the highest of the interchange, it's 25 metres high, so it's the most complicated work so far to dismantle. It's 100 metres long that we have to dismantle and it's very, very complex,” he said.
Workers will need to protect a new stretch of Highway 20 beneath, as well as new CN train tracks and trains.
"That part of the A-15 is over the CN railway, the new corridor that we just built and opened back in August, so it's 45 trains a day that's going to go through the corridor while we're dismantling the structure," said Olivier Beaulieu, assistant director of the Turcot project.
Special mitigation measures are being rolled out for commuters, including free train rides on the Vaudreuil-Hudson and Candiac lines, additional rush-hour train departures and extra buses, extra parking spots, free shuttles, and free public transit passes for employers to give to employees.
Transport Quebec implores drivers not to tune out this particular traffic message.
“That's why we invite people to use public transit or to not come downtown during those days,” said Martin Girard of Transport Quebec.
If people try to drive like normal, authorities anticipate a 10 kilometre-long traffic jam.
As many as 300,000 cubic metres of concrete still need to be dismantled.
“Fifty per cent will be dismantled over the winter, so by June, it's 97 per cent of the whole structure, interchange that's going to be dismantled,” said Beaulieu.
“So that's going to change a lot the view that we have of Montreal,” he added.
The Turcot construction project is moving along on pace.
“We're 73 per cent complete and by the end of the year, we'll be 75 per cent complete. We're still on schedule, still on track to finish by 2020,” said Beaulieu.
The new, two-lane Highway 15 south roadway will be open to traffic in December. A second lane on Highway 15 north will open in mid-November.