St. Jacques Bridge has re-opened (partially)
Published Friday, December 21, 2018 10:13AM EST
Last Updated Friday, December 21, 2018 7:23PM EST
Residents of lower NDG are getting a Christmas present from Transport Quebec -- although it's not wrapped and will be taken back in a few months.
The St. Jacques Bridge opened Friday afternoon, although it will have to close at some point in the spring.
Because of poor weather, paving of the entire span is not complete, but Transport Quebec has decided there is no point waiting until the job is perfect when good enough will do.
As a result, two westbound lanes are open, and one eastbound lane is open.
The sidewalk on the north side of the bridge will also be open to pedestrians.
"It's an important access for people in the area so it will be possible to move from west to east on St. Jacques," said Transport Quebec spokesperson Martin Girard.
With its new 55-metre spire, the new span is hard to miss.
“It's a signature bridge for Montreal, for the project, so people can see the bridge from everywhere in the area,” said Girard.
Kevin Piper of Nelson Garage on Decarie Blvd. said the construction of the MUHC hospital and the closure of St. Jacques has created an immense amount of slow-moving traffic around his company.
"It's the volume of traffic in the last three years that's affected us," said Piper.
"We've had a lot of trouble getting in and out to do road tests, or even clients trying to get in and out to the garage every day,” he said, adding that it’s meant a lot of long days. “We try to close by 5 o'clock but people can only get here by 5:30 or 6, because they just can't get here.”
The St. Jacques Bridge was torn down in March 2015, with its demolition requiring multiple weekend closures of the Decarie Expressway.
When the weather improves in the spring, construction crews will return to finish paving the bridge, which will be three lanes in each direction, and to finish the sidewalk on the south side.
“It wasn't possible to complete the work because of the weather this past week with the frozen ground,” said Girard.
Girard said the spring work is minor and won’t disrupt traffic.