07/12/2013 02:29 EDT | Updated 09/11/2013 05:12 EDT

Month-long construction blitz begins on Mercier bridge

Drivers who use the Honoré Mercier Bridge are advised to find other ways to and from Montreal, because a major month-long construction blitz starts Friday night.

The Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Corporation says it will replace the deck of the federal section of the bridge, and expects to complete work by August 11. The work will begin at 9 tonight, continuing 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Jean-Vincent Lacroix, spokesperson for bridge corporation, advises drivers to find alternative routes, or risk facing extreme traffic congestion between Montreal and the South Shore.

"If all people [who are] using the Mercier bridge right now continue to use it during the work, it's going to take an hour to cross the bridge," said Lacroix.

Only one lane will be open in each direction, and some of the access ramps on the South Shore side will be closed throughout the blitz. Lane width will also be reduced to three metres in each direction.

Public transportation advised

Lacroix recommends commuters use shared transportation, such as carpooling and public transit, or alternative routes to the Champlain and Victoria Bridges.

A dedicated bus lane will be created during the work blitz on the South Shore side, in order to give easier access to the La Prairie ramp, where all vehicles using the bridge will converge.

For those taking the Champlain Bridge, the bridge corporation suggests leaving earlier on weekdays, because of additional capacity in the morning.