04/24/2013 22:27 EDT | Updated 06/24/2013 05:12 EDT

Turcot Interchange roadwork to cause traffic hell for months

Montreal drivers are about to face a double-whammy of traffic headaches, as major repair work is set to begin on both the Turcot Interchange and the Champlain Bridge.

The Quebec transportation ministry says it needs to reinforce the ramp linking eastbound Highway 20 to the bridge, and that work can only be done by shutting down the ramp. That is scheduled to begin May 3 and last until October.

The south ramp from Highway 15 onto Highway 20 west — the way home for hundreds of thousands of commuters who live on Montreal's West Island — will also be closed, beginning April 26 until the end of August.

Within the next few years, the plan is to dismantle and replace the entire Turcot Interchange. Until that happens, Quebec's transport ministry says maintenance has to be done on the interchange to make sure it is safe.

"Try to carpool," advises Lucie Larose, a spokeswoman for Quebec's transport ministry. "Maybe adjust the time you are travelling — or your itinerary."

In addition to the work on the Turcot, major repairs are about to begin on the Champlain bridge. This final weekend of April, only one lane will be open for traffic bound for Montreal's South Shore and two lanes for Montreal-bound traffic.

In July, the Mercier Bridge is also due for repairs, and traffic will be reduced to a single lane in each direction.