11/25/2013 06:35 EST | Updated 01/25/2014 05:59 EST

Champlain Bridge reduced to 2 lanes in both directions

South Shore commuters are facing yet another morning of traffic headaches with only two lanes open in each direction on the Champlain Bridge.

A crack, discovered two weeks ago on a horizontal beam, expanded last week, prompting officials to shut down down the two lanes normally reserved for south-bound traffic.

Those two lanes will remain closed until at least mid-December, when officials hope to install a reinforcement beam underneath the cracked one.

For the time being, officials with the Champlain Bridge corporation are urging commuters to take public transit and avoid the bridge, if possible.

Spokesman Jean-Vincent Lacroix said commuters will have to change their habits.

"Of course it's going to be really difficult if nobody takes public transit and everybody, like usual takes the bridge,” he said.

Montreal’s public transit corporation (STM) has added extra space to the yellow metro line, although the STM warns that it could still be crowded during rush hour.

Commuters also have the option to hop on the Mont-Saint-Hilaire suburban train, or take the Victoria or Jacques-Cartier bridges.

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