Heavy truck ban on Champlain causes more traffic nightmares for truckers
Beginning on Monday, heavy trucks are no longer permitted on the Champlain Bridge after it was revealed that major construction projects are weakening the roadway.
“Targeting those heavy load permits ensures safe transit for commuters who use the bridge every day, and for those trucks that contribute to the economic vitality of Montreal,” said Champlain and Jacques Cartier Bridges Corporation spokesperson Julie Paquet.
The new regulation means any truck hauling more than 66 tonnes must take an alternate route, raising concern over the higher cost of transporting goods.
“It will certainly impact on the cost of carrying that merchandise,” said Quebec Trucking Association President Marc Cadieux.
Among the trucks that will be waylaid are those that transport bulldozers, steel beams and concrete structures to the city’s major construction sites.
“Those permits are issued by the SAAQ and we don’t have any say as to where they cross and when they cross,” said Paquet.
Other ways into the city are limited as both the Mercier and Jacques Cartier bridges are off limits. That leaves the Lafontaine Tunnel, several kilometres away.
Trucker Alex Simionov said that can mean losing an hour a day to traffic getting into Montreal.
“Everywhere now is traffic,” he said. “Lafontaine is busy in the evening, Mercier is a little bit better.”