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Off-island residents fed up as work on Ile-aux-Tourtes continues

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Ongoing construction work on the Ile-aux-Tourtes Bridge off Montreal is causing frustration for some people who live off-island.

 Work continues on the bridge this weekend, with some key steel pieces arriving in the coming days.

Amanda Squires lives in Saint-Lazare with her family. Her husband works on the West Island, and she said since the Ile-aux-Tourtes Bridge was reduced to one lane in each direction, he has missed out on time with his family because he's consistently stuck in traffic.

"My husband takes two to three hours to get home from work and he doesn't get to see his kids," she said. "He gets home and the kids are already asleep most nights. He doesn't get to eat dinner with the family. He could be doing a lot more than sitting in traffic."

The bridge is a key link between western Montreal and Vaudreuil, but traffic has increased significantly with lane reductions.

Trucks make up about 10 per cent of all vehicles that use the span, and some have called for them to be banned during rush hour to help ease the flow.

"It's a good idea to do it during rush hour," said traffic analyst Rick Leckner. "The problem is there's no real alternative for them to use."

Transport Ministry (MTQ) said the bridge is a critical route for goods and would only restrict trucks in an emergency situation.

"It is not an option to not let them use the bridge including during the rush hour," said spokesperson Sarah Bensadoun.

Leckner is calling for an independent inquiry into how the MTQ has handled the maintenance and planning of the bridge, saying it's been known for years it would pose a problem.

"It's time there was some accountability. These things continue to plague everyone and we sit there and keep getting hit," he said.

Squires agreed.

"It should have been done five or ten years ago. They really fumbled the ball on this one and all the residents here are paying the price," she said. The new Ile-aux-Tourtes Bridge is set to be completed at the end of 2026. 

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