“It’s going to be very tough,” warned the Deputy Premier and Minister of Transport of Quebec, Geneviève Guilbault. She was in Montreal on Thursday to visit the Louis-Hippolyte-La Fontaine tunnel, whose repair work will have a strong impact on the city’s road network and its economy.
From Monday, October 31, three out of six lanes will be closed. “We will watch how it goes”, and make adjustments if necessary, said Ms. Guilbault in a press briefing. And to invite all motorists to consider other solutions, such as carpooling or public transport.
It will be a big challenge for everyone. There will be three lanes closed out of six. It is very important that each person affected finds a plan B, I invite them to think about it now. I invite him to adopt public transit.
Geneviève Guilbault, Minister of Transport and Sustainable Mobility
The work period for the tunnel linking the east of Montreal to the South Shore is set at three years. “We have very capable people working. I rely on them. If it’s shorter, so much the better,” said Minister Guilbault.
Fire and rescue services, paramedics and other emergency vehicles will have permanent privileged access to the tunnel, the Deputy Prime Minister also promised.
Solo car not prohibited for the moment
The latter excludes for the moment the ban on solo cars, as suggested yesterday by the president of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, Michel Leblanc, on Twitter.
“We must limit access during peak hours: only carpooling, public transport and trucks – no solo car during these periods. A difficult solution to limit the damage, ”he suggested, under the background of concern for the Montreal economy.
Geneviève Guilbault also invites employers to be “flexible and creative” in telework policies. More days in distanciel, schedules modified to avoid peak hours, the minister calls on the imagination of companies to relieve road traffic. “The solution lies in the sums of gestures and actions as a citizen […] and collectively,” she insists.
A monitoring committee at the Quebec Ministry of Transport will meet after each rush hour from Monday, twice a day, to adapt “as and when”.
Montrealers disadvantaged by the configuration?
During the work, two of the three lanes are reserved for traffic in the South Shore–Montreal direction. A choice based on “security issues”, explains Geneviève Campeau, mobility director at Renouveau La Fontaine (RLF). The simulation of an inverse configuration created “very big problems because of the geometric configuration and the presence of trucks”, she explained.
Geneviève Guilbault is also studying the possibility of setting up more maritime shuttles to offer additional options. Those in function were made free.
“We plan to put the shuttles back in principle in the spring, and we will see with the port of Montreal and the infrastructures of the South Shore if we can stretch the season”, specified Martin Giroux, acting director general of major road projects. from Montreal.
Remember that to reduce the impact of the repair work, the City relies on the use of public transport. To do this, the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) has added 50 daily departures on the yellow line during rush hour.
Two additional platforms have also been installed at the Radisson terminus to accommodate all Longueuil and exo buses. A shuttle has been set up there to facilitate the movement of workers in the sector.