Île-Bizard residents struggle with daily commutes as bridge detours persist.
Jen Wallace, a 15-year resident of L'Île-Bizard, begins her days earlier than usual now that her exit point off the island, the under-construction Jacques-Bizard Bridge, has had limited lanes and detours implemented surrounding the site. She wakes her children up at 5:30 a.m. and leaves to drive them to their off-island school at 6:30; anytime later, congestion accumulates, quickly creating lengthy wait times. The bridge crossing, which usually takes around 15 minutes, has been turned into an hour-long commute during peak hours for some drivers.
PHOTO: Kyle Whiteman
Traffic to cross the bridge extends to rue Des Près, a side street off of Cherrier. Captured at 7:05 a.m., Thursday September 14th.
The Construction du pont Jacques-Bizard Facebook group has been an outlet for many residents to vent their frustrations, some feeling as though the lack of visible progress towards the new bridge is disheartening and that the implemented solutions in place by the City of Montréal may not be effective. Since the end of August, one lane has been open leaving the island towards Gouin, and two lanes to get back on the island at Rue Cherrier.
Resident Kyle Whiteman believes the City of Montréal and the Plante administration are failing
to hold the private contractor accountable. "This is not a borough nor a police problem. This is a clear disregard for the safety and well being of the Île-Bizard citizens."
The Jacques-Bizard Bridge from above.
PHOTO: Ville de Montréal
In their last post, the City (administrator of the group) stated that traffic conditions are expected to improve by the end of the week of September 18th. This week, the sewer and waterworks on the south side of the bridge, at the corner of Boulevard Gouin, will be completed. The related obstruction will be removed. No detours are planned for the week of September 25th, yet a new phase of work will begin north of the bridge, at the intersection with Rue Cherrier, as of October 2nd. No further details were provided at this time.
The island's Royal Montreal Golf Course will host the 2024 Presidents Cup, an international PGA tournament, from September 24-29th of next year. With the new bridge set to open before the end of 2024, Jennifer worries about the strain of this increased traffic flow on a bridge that could still be under construction. She hopes this difficult month will not repeat itself and that future construction and detours will be carefully planned in consultation with residents.
Residents can check the bridge's progress through a live stream of the construction site: https://www.devisubox.com/dv/dv.php5?pgl=Project/interface&sRef=3RS0GJYNQ