Seasonal holiday relief for Île-aux-Tourtes bridge motorists
PHOTO BY JAMES ARMSTRONG
On-going repair work on the Île-aux-Tourtes bridge combined with inclement weather and slippery road conditions lead to accidents and inevitable traffic jams including a jack-knifed tractor trailer accident on Tuesday, December 19 that closed eastbound lanes for several hours.
There will be a short holiday respite for motorists using the Île-aux-Tourtes bridge beginning Friday, December 22, 2017 until January 2, 2018 according to Media Relations Coordinator for the Ministère des Transports, de la Mobilité durable et de l’Électrification des Transports (MTQ) Sarah Bensadoun. “There will be three lanes open eastbound in the direction of Montreal and two lanes open westbound toward Vaudreuil-Dorion,” said Bensadoun on Tuesday, December 12. With ongoing repairs to the westbound side of the structure since late spring 2017, drivers crossing the bridge have been faced with orange cones, concrete barriers marking temporary lane changes and daily traffic congestion.
Supporting the bridge
Bensadoun said repairs were being made to the pillars supporting the bridge. The contract for the repair project, worth $8.5 million, began in June 2017 and is expected to be completed by spring 2018. Throughout the winter months, the actual work area and workers on the bridge are protected from the weather by a structure that looks similar to a temporary winter car shelter.
“We have been doing a lot of work since December of 2015,” she added noting it is an elderly structure and needs some love. According to the MTQ website, the bridge is the subject of a major project included in the 2016-2026 Québec Infrastructure Plan in the “projects under study” category.
Built in 1966, the current span serves as a connection between the Island of Montreal and Vaudreuil-Dorion for 83,000 daily users on Highway 40. It is composed of two successive structures totaling 1,962 metres in each direction. The western structure near Vaudreuil-Dorion is a pre-stressed beam type of structure and the eastern end is a reinforced concrete beam type. It has three lanes in both directions when not under repair. Bensadoun encouraged motorists to consult Québec 511 for road network conditions on a 24/7 basis.