Closing of the tunnel: hellish from the first days

Tunnel closure: hellish from the first days


Motorists who dare to use the Louis-Hippolyte-La Fontaine tunnel from Monday will suffer the worst week of congestion in three years of major work, warns a site manager.

“It's going to be very tough from Monday. We must not pretend that he has a miraculous solution, summarized today the Minister of Transport, Geneviève Guilbault.

The Minister of Transport, Geneviève Guilbaul (right), descended into the tunnel this Thursday to see the construction site there.

She was visiting the tunnel site for the first time, a week after taking up her post. Four days before the closure of three out of six lanes of the infrastructure, the minister went so far as to compare the ordeal that this site represents to the pandemic.

“ We are coming out of a pandemic where we collectively faced a huge challenge also of a completely different nature. We know that when we stick together as Quebecers, as a society, we are able to meet challenges, so we have a new one waiting for us on Monday,” she said.

The “boom” of the first week

The first week of work will be particularly chaotic, warns Geneviève Campeau, an engineer for the consortium responsible for the project who accompanied Minister Guilbault.

< p>“There is always a boom at the beginning and after that you reach a certain balance. It is this balance that we will gain in the coming weeks.  »

In addition to the reduction of lanes by half, motorists will face the construction site for the first time, which will intensify traffic. 

” In addition to having the loss of a lane at the height of the Notre-Dame exit Monday morning, the whole highway will have changed portrait, explains Ms. Campeau. That, as a motorist, we have to adjust to that. People will slow down, will be more vigilant.”

The engineer even foresees a “stabilization” traffic » in a few weeks and a possible return to a level of congestion comparable to that of last spring near the tunnel.

“After that, it becomes more instinctive, people know the axis and are less nervous and adhere more to the configuration,” she argues.

No improvisation, assures the Minister

The Minister nevertheless encourages users to choose mitigation measures, such as carpooling or public transit, and employers to promote telework.

Questioned byLe Journal to have if the ministry had sufficiently prevented the impacts of the construction site and if it had communicated well enough with the public in recent months, Ms Guilbault assured that there is no had “no improvisation”.

“I've been here for a week, but what I'm talking about has been in the making for months, years,” said she defended.

Quebec will also observe the first impacts of the construction site from Monday to decide if other measures should be taken.

We don't still does not rule out banning solo driving during rush hour to force carpooling, as the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal requested on Wednesday.

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