Heavy trucks have been temporarily banned from using the Mercier Bridge to leave the Island of Montreal.

Transport Quebec introduced the ban Wednesday because of concerns that the guard rails currently in place aren't strong enough and need to be reinforced.

Police officers are keeping a close eye on the Mercier Bridge -- making sure truck drivers don't use it to get off the island.

"We know it's quite a detour for them," said Caroline Larose of Transport Quebec.

"We're looking at solutions to bring them back on the bridge as soon as we can, but we don't know when we can do it."

A recent Transport Quebec inspection raised concerns about the safety of guard rails on the bridge.

The initial work to reinforce the structure began on the weekend. The installation of the new barriers will begin in January.

While the work is underway, heavy trucks are banned from taking the Mercier toward Chateauguay.

The Champlain and Monseigneur-Langlois bridges are the alternatives.

The Quebec Trucking Association isn't happy about the detours.

"It is quite an inconvenience - either coming through to Champlain, or going through Valleyfield," said trucker Roger Vaillancourt.

" If I go to Valleyfield, that takes me out of my way. If I go through Champlain, well it's faster, but I'm still out of my way."

But Transport Quebec says safety comes first, it's just not yet clear how long the ban will last.