NEWS

New measures to ease traffic on Champlain Bridge

11/15/2013 08:22 EST | Updated 01/23/2014 06:56 EST
The Quebec government will implement 12 short-term measures to help alleviate traffic congestion on the Champlain Bridge while one lane is closed for month-long repairs.

Starting Monday, commuters will notice a reserved bus lane across the span, more train and metro cars to and from Montreal’s South Shore, and extra parking spots for car-poolers.

“Our primary concern is people’s safety, and the fluidity of traffic,” said Quebec Transport Minister SylvainGaudreault.

The closure of the southbound lane comes after workers found a crack in one of the girders supporting the Champlain Bridge.

All three levels of government have been working on the plan, and Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre says he thinks these measures will work well for commuters.

“Today is all about what are we going to do for the fluidity, and what are we going to do to make sure that the security is not at stake, and we are satisfied,” Coderre said.

The Champlain bridge is at the end of its lifespan, and a new bridge will be built by 2021.

Until then, the federal government insists the Champlain Bridge is safe - in spite of the crack workers found, and the sudden lane closure.

“The people who use the bridge are safe when they’re on the bridge. If something is dangerous, they will close the bridge. When the bridge is open, that’s because it’s safe,” said federal Minister of Infrastructure Denis Lebel.

Lebel also hinted that the new span could come sooner than 2021.

“We’re working on that. We will communicate that in the weeks to come.”

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