Turcot work increases local traffic mayhem

By P.A. Sévigny

As of last Monday morning, traffic was crawling along NDG’s Upper Lachine Road while several police officers tried to impose some kind of working order around busy intersections located throughout the CDN/NDG borough’s already busy hospital district.

While local drivers are still trying to figure out how long it will take for them to get used to all of their local traffic headaches, other drivers are in for their own custom-made brand of traffic hell as they try to negotiate the island’s busy suburban throughway, Highway 20, on their way in and out of the city.

As of last Monday, the traffic cones were already up as MTQ work crews once again closed the access ramp leading off the east-bound 20 onto the even busier Décarie Expressway.

According to the MTQ’s own press release, repair work is expected to take up to three months after which the ramp is expected to be once again open in time for the city’s late July construction holiday.

Should drivers want to continue to use the throughway in order to make their way up into the northern reaches of the city, MTQ officials suggest that they continue along the 20 all the way over to the Guy Street exit after which they can double back, take the Fort Street access ramp and take the west-bound Ville-Marie until they can once again turn to the right and head north along the Décarie Expressway.
Aside from all the additional time spent in traffic as the island’s east-bound drivers try to negotiate what could be up to a 20 kilometre detour, anyone who plans to use the Ville-Marie to make their way towards the island’s south-shore suburbs will now have to negotiate their own extensive detour because the traffic cones have also gone up along the Turcot’s busy ‘M’ ramp that leads westbound drivers off the Ville Marie towards the busy and increasingly decrepit Champlain Bridge.

As work will proceed on both access ramps over the next three months, anyone who wants to take what is still one of the busiest bridges in all of North America must now head west along the Ville Marie Expressway toward Angrignon (near the LaSalle exit) where they can take their place in line, wait for the light, take a left and make their way along eastbound Highway 20 towards the southbound Highway 15 access ramp that will lead them to the bridge.

Aside from the time and the usual stress caused by all the traffic that’s trying to negotiate the already crowded bridge towards the city’s south-shore suburbs, drivers should do what they can to make sure they have enough gas to make the trip because the detour will easily add another 40-50 km to what ought have been nothing more than their daily ride home to the suburbs.

MTQ officials also mentioned that for the duration of the work schedule, commuters would be well advised to use any kind of alternative transport in order to make their way in and out of the city.
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