MONTREAL -- There are fewer cars on the road in the pandemic, and soon there will be fewer orange cones as well.

Montreal is postponing work at 20 of 64 construction sites for a year.

Mayor Valerie Plante said the postponed work is meant to give Montrealers a rest.

“People are tired,” said the mayor. “Lives were changed on different levels, and we understand.” 

Some of the projects that will be postponed include work on several streets around Griffintown and St. Laurent Blvd. Work on major arteries like St. Denis and Guy St. will be minimal, according to the city. 

Plante says she doesn’t want to stop construction altogether, but “we just want to find better ways to navigate all that needs to be done around town,” she said. 

According to traffic expert Rick Leckner, while Montreal roads do need repair, years of roadwork and detours have frustrated drivers.

“You could argue that this is the time to do it, people aren’t travelling around,” said Leckner. 

“Montrealers have been saturated with roadwork, and there’s also something called an election coming up in a year from now.”

Lionel Perez, leader of the official opposition party Ensemble Montreal, calls the plan irresponsible. 

“I think that this decision was made simply because next year’s an election year,” said Perez.

“They saw the polls and they saw the writing on the wall, and they want to have a hope of getting re-elected.”

A statement from the mayor's office shot back that the decision was based on Montrealers' interests alone.

“It would be best for the opposition to leave partisan politics aside for the moment,” read the statement.

The mayor’s office declined CTV’s request for an interview.