Your Turcot survival guide for the next few days

The most difficult portion of the ongoing Turcot interchange refurbishing work will happen this weekend.

Crews will work to take down the remaining 25 metre-high northbound section of the old Highway 15. The job is a delicate one — Highway 20 and a well-travelled set of train tracks lie underneath it — and it will mean closures between Thursday night and next Tuesday morning.

Entire ramps and accessways in the old roadway's path will be shut down:

  • Highway 20 West is closed from Thursday at 11:59 p.m. to Tuesday at 5 a.m.
  • Highway 20 East is closed from Friday at 10:30 p.m. to Tuesday at 5 a.m.
  • Highway 15 North is closed from Friday at 10:30 p.m. to Monday at 5 a.m.

Transport officials are telling you to avoid the area entirely during the entire period — and work from home, if you can. (Click here to visit the transport department's special Turcot roadwork page for a complete list of closures, mitigation measures, and more.)

'History will be written. Traffic history'

CJAD 800's traffic expert Rick Leckner says this is as bad as it gets.

"We've never had a protracted closure of this magnitude before,"  Leckner said. "History shall be written over the next few days. Traffic history. If you insist on getting behind the wheel, you may be sitting behind the wheel for quite some time."

Meanwhile, there are mitigation measures in place for those that have to get out and about — you'll be able to ride the Vaudreuil-Hudson and Candiac commuter train lines for free the entire weekend. (For more information, visit the Exo commuter train network's web site here.)

The Vaudreuil-Hudson line will have an extra 14 off-peak departures, with stops at Dorval, Vendome and Lucien-L'Allier stations only.

Meanwhile, 200 parking spaces at the Dorval Gardens shopping centre on Dorval Ave. are being made available.

There will also be a free shuttle service between the Chateauguay terminus and the Ste. Catherine train station (on the Candiac line) during rush hours.

Meanwhile, bus lines 1 (Haut-Saint-Laurent sector) and 28 (Sud-Ouest sector) are rerouted to the Angrignon metro station. These buses normally go to the Mansfield terminus in Montreal. Users of these bus lines will receive free transit fares for the metro.

But wait! It gets worse

To make a bad situation worse, on Monday while a spike in motorists will be using the approach to the Champlain Bridge, only one lane will be available on the Bonaventure Expressway between Carrie-Derick St. and Nuns' Island. The new configuration will be in place until the new Champlain Bridge opens (which was recently pushed back to June). 

Meanwhile, the Mercier Bridge will down to one lane in each direction from Friday at 10:00 p.m. to Monday at 5:00 a.m.

Highway 20 westbound will also be closed from the Pullman St. entrance to the St-Pierre Interchange from Friday 11:59 p.m. to Monday at 5:00 a.m.

Trucks with three or more axles will not be barred from using the Interchange on Friday and Monday during rush hours.

CJAD 800's James Foster contributed to this report.