Montreal ring road nears completion
When the Autoroute 30 ring road bypassing the Island of Montreal is completed this December, through traffic will no longer need to take the heavily congested A-20 and A-40 that cross the Island. The ring road will also bring welcome relief to...
When the Autoroute 30 ring road bypassing the Island of Montreal is completed this December, through traffic will no longer need to take the heavily congested A-20 and A-40 that cross the Island. The ring road will also bring welcome relief to the approach bridges and tunnel that bring traffic on and off the island.
A dream for over 40 years, the ring road was supposed to be the last act in the construction of the A-30, which was laid down from Sorel to where it crosses the north-south running A-15 that runs between Montreal and New York State. Only in 2003 did Quebec and Ottawa come to an agreement that would finally see the ring road completed.
The ring road is divided into eastern and western sections, both of which are four-lane divided highways. Transports Quebec built the now-completed Eastern section. It extends just over 12 kilometres from the A-15 west to Châteauguay, and includes a railway bridge and several overpasses for existing roads.
The western section is 35 kilometres long and is still under construction under a public-private partnership that Quebec signed in 2008 with Nouvelle Autoroute 30, S.E.N.C., a consortium of Acciona, S.A. and Iridium Concesiones de Infraestructuras, S.A. Among other companies listed as part of the consortium are Arup Canada as the prime consulting engineer for the western section. The project was valued at $1.5 billion in 2008.
Nouvelle Autoroute 30, S.E.N.C. was tasked with designing and constructing the highway segment between Châteauguay and Vaudreuil-Dorion, and operating, maintaining and financing it over a 35-year period. It will maintain and operate the eastern section as well, but for 30 years, beginning in 2012.
The western section continues westward from Châteauguay to where it crosses the Canal de Beauharnois, which is part of the St. Lawrence Seaway. Here, a 2,550-metre long bridge will soar more than 38 metres above the Seaway. Once across the bridge in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, the ring road will veer in a northerly direction and over a 1,860-metre long bridge above the St. Lawrence River. There will be a toll on this bridge. Rates should be announced this summer, but early estimates are that it will settle somewhere between 30 and 60 cents per axle.
The ring road will merge with the east to west-running A-20 a few kilometers west of the Island of Montreal in Vaudreuil-Dorion at a massive interchange that is currently under construction. The project was 70 per cent completed this April.