Turcot construction passes halfway point
Published Monday, November 20, 2017 9:25PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, November 21, 2017 8:06AM EST
With work on the Turcot Interchange having passed the halfway point, the consortium in change of construction showed off the newly-created ramps and roadways that drivers will begin using in the next few weeks.
But with years of work to go, officials say commuters will likely be better off using public transit instead of the temporary ramps that will stitch together the Turcot until it is completed in 2020.
The expectation is that traffic delays in the new few weeks will be the worst seen as detours are added in this key phase of construction.
"When we looked at the whole project there were two key years: 2016 and 2017 and this is the key traffic change for the whole project," said Sebastien Marcoux of KPH Turcot.
Temporary structures will also be put in place over the months to come, as ground level connections from Highway 15 North and South toward downtown are linked up.
Drivers leaving the downtown core will soon be swooping down to ground level as the remaining elevated lanes of the 720 are demolished, exiting the Ville Marie tunnel and travelling on the lowered Route 136.
Those coming from the West Island will find themselves much closer to the escarpment as eastbound Highway 20 is shifted to the north.
Montreal mayor Valerie Plante was at the opening ceremony for the new section of Highway 20, and she was happy to see the next phase of construction underway.
"We want mobility. A project like this one is part of better mobility. Knowing that we completed 56% of the project is good news for Montealers," said Plante.
When all is completed in 2020 the Turcot Interchange will not have more capacity then before.
Ramps will have the same number of lanes -- or in many cases, fewer.
Transportation Minister Andre Fortin said larger highways don't mean fewer traffic jams.
"In terms of widening highways, we can't just look at highways to fix our mobility issues. We need to look at urban transit, active transportation," said Fortin.
The completed Turcot will have new connections to roads that did not exist, such as a connection to and from Route 136 via Pullman Blvd., and a connection to Highway 15 North from St. Jacques Blvd.
But until then, drivers will have to contend with delays.
"2017 was a bit of a headache for motorists, I understand that," said Fortin. "2018 will have its challenges as well."