The west side of the Mercier Bridge is now open with one lane to westbound (from Montreal to the South shore) traffic effective Sept. 6. This span had been totally closed since June 14 to enable necessary repairs to be made to the steel structure because of significant deterioration. This closure forced all traffic to use the east span and thus traffic flow had been significantly restricted.
Because of only two lanes available, there were times that this bridge, the principal route for residents of northern Franklin County to get to and from Montreal and the P.E. Trudeau airport in Dorval, was only open in one direction. This necessitated alternate routes in and out of Montreal. Now, at least one lane will be available in each direction at all times, unless further restrictions are implemented for emergency reasons.
Now that the emergency repairs have been made and approved by the project engineers, the Minister de Transport de Quebec has opened the bridge according to the following lane plan:
-two lanes toward Montreal and one toward the South Shore 5 to 11:30 a.m. Monday to Friday
-one lane toward Montreal and two toward the South Shore 12:30 to 8 p.m. Monday to Wednesday, 12:30 to 10 p.m. Thursday and Friday
-one lane in each direction 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. Monday to Wednesday, 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. Thursday and Friday, weekends and holidays
This plan also allows heavy vehicles to travel westbound on the bridge. Work to reinforce the steel structure will continue, and the second lane of traffic on the west span is scheduled to reopen by December 2011.
For more information, visit http://pontmercierbridge.ca/eng/ and for more information on vehicle and traffic law and traffic safety, go the Franklin County Traffic Safety Board's web site at: www.franklincony.org/ and click on the Traffic Safety Board under departments.