Hold on to your hats and steering wheels - more work on roads and watermains this year

Get ready for the annual festival of orange construction cones in the city of Montreal.

The city presented its roadwork and watermain projects for the coming year - a total of $684-million will be spent fixing up our aging infrastructure, $100-million more than last year.

The downtown core is getting a break this year from any new work due to the 375th anniversary celebrations.

But the rest of the island won't be spared - 800 streets will be repaired along with sewer and watermain systems, for a total of 290 km of roads and 122 km of waterpipes and sewers.

Some projects will actually be wrapping up soon - for example, the new Bonaventure roadway should be finished this fall. Details about other smaller work projects in the boroughs are expected in about a week in open data files.

Lionel Perez, the city's executive committee member responsible for infrastructure, said they made sure that public safety or access to water would not be compromised by delaying any work this year. And Perez promised we won't see more detours and streets under construction next year to make up for that work.

"There isn't going to be an extra ramp-up to catch up anything that wasn't done in 2017," said Perez, adding that they've planned out priorities and balanced the work schedules.

Perez said he realized the work is inconveniencing motorists, cyclists and even pedestrians but that it's necessary in order to catch up on years of neglect.

But Perez said by maintaining the increased level of funding and the current rhythm of work, the city's streets and sewers should be up to par by 2026.

"There is a light at the end of the tunnel," said Perez.