'The worst is behind us': Turcot construction project enters home stretch

'The worst is behind us': Turcot construction project enters home stretch

It’s almost over.

After months of detours, traffic congestion and noise, the end of the Turcot construction project is finally in sight.

“The worst is behind us,” KPH Deputy Project Director Olivier Beaulieu said.

“It was very, very tough for us at the beginning of the project where we had to start building temp structures, temp roads, temp detours in order to to dismantle [the old structure].”

Seven new sections will be opened this fall.  The first will happen Monday when drivers on Highway 15 north from the Champlain Bridge will be able to continue straight to Highway 20 west.  In the coming weeks, the 20 east to Decarie north and the 15 south to Highway 20 west will also open.

Finally, drivers will have access to the previously-closed Fort Street and Lucien l’Allier entrances.  That means those living on St. Antoine Street won’t have to deal with heavy traffic for much longer, from cars using the street as a detour.

Mary Rivard-David who lives on the street was ecstatic by the news.

“Get out! I had no idea,” she told Global News. “Well, I’m thrilled and everybody in this neighbourhood will be thrilled.”

Officials say the construction is now in the home stretch.  Nearly all of the old structure has been torn down.

“Now that the dismantling is all done, is all completed, we’re really in a closing phase,” Beaulieu explained.

WATCH: (May 28, 2019) Navigating the Turcot

During a tour of the new structure, Quebec Deputy Transport Minister Chantal Rouleau told reporters that nearly 80 per cent of the construction is finished.

“We are on time and on budget,” she said, “and the project is going very well.”

The new interchange will have bus lanes, wider lanes for cars and more room on the shoulders for emergency vehicles. With more than 30,000 plants including trees and grass, Rouleau said it’s more than just a highway.

“It will be a very nice entry into the city of Montreal at a human level,” she said.

Officials expect the entire project to be finished by the end of next year.