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Ile-aux-Tourtes bridge to be reduced to one lane each way for weeks: MTQ

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Traffic on the Île-aux-Tourtes bridge will be reduced to one lane in each direction "for several weeks" at least as of Friday night, Quebec's transport ministry has confirmed. 

"As of this Saturday, at 12:01 a.m., only one lane will be available per direction on the bridge due to damage to a portion of the slab," read a ministry advisory.

The MTQ says workers discovered the damage while they were removing concrete from the surface of the bridge. Underneath, the ministry said, they discovered "extensive damage."

While the team knew that part of the bridge was in rough shape, but that the actual condition was worse than anticipated. 

"We had to take the difficult decision to remove another lane, which leaves us with only two lanes out of six," said Sarah Bensadoun, a spokesperson for the MTQ. 

"This is a structure that is at the end of its lifespan," she said. "We know there are surprises that will happen in the next few weeks and next few months. We are prepared for that, and we also have a budget." 

The MTQ has a budget of $376 million just to maintain the existing bridge, which will eventually be dismantled.

"We will maintain the structure until the new Ile-aux-Tourtes Bridge is in service," she added. The completed structure is set to be operational in 2027. 

OTHER OPTIONS

"The public is invited to favour public transportation," read the release. The Highway 30 toll route will also be free while the bridge is reduced to one lane each way. 

As of Dec. 4, commuters entering the Vaudreuil-Hudson line at the following stations will be able to ride for free:

  • Hudson
  • Vaudreuil
  • Dorion
  • Pincourt
  • Île-Perrot

The bridge, which connects the Island of Montreal to Vaudreuil-Dorion, was already reconfigured to three lanes last week after a new crack was discovered.

The mayor of Saint-Anne-de-Bellevue, one of the affected municipalities, said she and mayors of various nearby municipalities were informed of the change Friday evening.

She told CTV she was concerned that reduced lanes on the bridge would send more heavy trucks through her community, which straddles Highway 20 -- the nearest alternative route to get off the island. 

"What in the dickens do you want me to?" she said in a telephone interview.

"They gave us a timeline that a new bridge would be ready in about two years from now," she added. "Something's got to be done with (Highway) 20, permanently ... We cannot keep on going like this."

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