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Drivers making their way to downtown Montreal won’t be able to use the de la Montagne exit off the Ville-Marie Expressway until the summer, according to Transports-Québec.
Work crews are rebuilding the off-ramp as part of a massive public works project to overhaul the Ville-Marie and Viger tunnels.
“That’s a huge undertaking. It’s a 10-year project of a $2-billion value,” Louis-André Bertrand, a spokesperson for Transports-Québec, told Global News.
The de la Montagne off-ramp has been closed since January of 2021.
Drivers are forced to use other off-ramps instead but often congestion builds up on the Ville-Marie expressway during rush-hour periods.
One urban planning professor says the traffic lights at the end of other off-ramps need to be better synchronized to keep traffic flowing off the expressway.
“You have to adjust the traffic signal there so you don’t, you shouldn’t, be backing up in the freeway,” Ahmed El-Geneidy, of McGill University’s School of Urban Planning, told Global News.
Bertrand is encouraging more people to use public transit to get into the city but El-Geneidy says service needs to increase when road work causes heavy traffic congestion.
“You need to provide a reliable transit option for people,” El-Geneidy said.
The work being done on the de la Montagne exit is only one project of 31 overseen by Transports-Québec in greater Montreal during the next two years.
Billions of dollars worth of work is planned for the next decade, according to Quebec’s 2022-2032 infrastructure plan.
“We will have a lot of construction over the next years. It’s not going to go away,” El-Geneidy.
Crews are working seven days a week on the de la Montagne exit.
“We’re still on target, we’re still on schedule,” Bertrand said.
The off-ramp is scheduled to reopen to traffic by summer.
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