The commute for West Island residents just got a bit easier as a section of Highway 20 near the Dorval Circle has reopened to traffic.
After nearly seven months of detours, all three lanes heading westbound reopened to traffic as of Wednesday morning.
Eastbound lanes will see a return to normal in time for the Thursday morning rush hour.
The heavily travel roadway was closed for several months as emergency work was needed to repair the two overpasses.
The Transport Ministry said the concrete form’s structural integrity was deemed unsafe for travel.
“The department thanks road users and truck drivers for their patience,” said Gilles Payer, ministry spokesperson. “It’s been a long ride.”
Steel beams have been put in place to brace sections of the highway. Payer says the work done is a complete shoring.
“The structure is safe,” Payer said.
Besides seasonal maintenance, the transport ministry says the roadway will not need major work.
Plans for a complete reconstruction of the 40-year-old structures are in the works, Payer said.
“This is on the drawing table. It is in preparation. We’re talking years,” Payer said.
“Naturally, the structure is repaired and completely safe as long as we will need it. It will be good for years to come.”
Drivers aren’t out of the woods yet, though. Motorists should expect more detours and nightly repairs as the finishing touches on the structure are done in the coming days.
News of the reopening is a big relief for Dorval residents who have been battling traffic and detours since October.
“It was murder. Some days, if there was a stall, it would just delay and delay,” said Dorval Mayor Edgar Rouleau.
Rouleau is looking forward to a return to normal when it comes to local traffic flow in the area. He said many drivers used residential streets to get around the bottle neck rush hour traffic.
Work on the Dorval Circle is expected to be completed this weekend with a reopening of the thoroughfare as of Monday morning.
A price tag for the emergency work has not yet been tabulated, according to Payer.