The tunnel Lafontaine, which connects Montreal and Longueuil across the Saint Lawrence River, is undergoing a significant renovation project until November 2025. The project aims to improve the tunnel’s safety, functionality, and durability and reduce its environmental impact. The project involves replacing the tunnel’s electrical, mechanical, and ventilation systems and repairing and reinforcing its concrete structure. So, The project also includes upgrading the tunnel’s lighting, signage, fire protection, and drainage systems. The project will have a substantial impact on traffic and transportation in the region since three of the tunnel’s six lanes will be blocked for the length of the construction. This means that only one lane will be available for drivers going to the South Shore and two routes for drivers going to Montreal.
The Ministry of Transport and Sustainable Mobility (MTMDET) and the City of Montreal has advised commuters to devise a “plan B” to avoid or minimize the congestion caused by the closure. Here are some of the options that you can consider:
Sharing rides with other people going to the same place is one way to reduce the number of cars going through the tunnel Lafontaine. By carpooling, you can also use the designated transit lane between Fer-à-Cheval Road in Sainte-Julie and Highway 132 in Boucherville on Highway 20 toward Montreal. This lane will allow you to bypass some traffic and save time. You can find carpooling partners through various platforms, such as:
- Netlift: This mobile app matches drivers and passengers based on their schedules, routes, and preferences. You can also book your rides in advance and pay online.
- Amigo Express: This website links long-distance drivers and passengers inside Quebec or throughout Canada. You can additionally select your departure & arrival destinations and make your payment online.
- Covoiturage.ca: This is a website that connects drivers and passengers who are traveling within Quebec or across Canada. You can also search for rides by date, time, location, and price.
Commuters commuting to or from the South Shore may save money and time by using discounted or free public transportation alternatives. These services include:
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exo buses: These run from various locations in Beloeil, Sainte-Julie, Varennes, and Boucherville to Metro Radisson on the Green Line. The following routes are accessible to commuters:
- exo-520: This route stops in Beloeil, Sainte-Julie, and provides an easy transfer to Metro Radisson.
- exo-521: This service stops at Metro Radisson in Beloeil, Sainte-Julie, and Boucherville.
- exo-532: This route connects with the other courses at Metro Radisson after passing via Varennes and northeast Boucherville.
- RTL buses run from various locations in Boucherville to Metro Radisson on the Green Line. The following routes are accessible to commuters:
- RTL-61: This highway begins at the Boucherville City Hall & continues along Montarville Blvd until it reaches Mortagne before turning into Autoroute Jean-Lesage. The train then arrives at Metro Radisson.
- RTL-461: This route goes from Montarville Blvd to Metro Radisson along the autoroute.
STM buses: These buses run within Montreal Island and provide access to various destinations. The following route has been added to service the Futailles industrial park, the Longue-Pointe military post, and the Louis-Hippolyte-La Fontaine hospital:
- STM-822: This route runs from Metro Radisson to Metro Honoré-Beaugrand on the Green Line via Rue Sherbrooke Est.
- STM metro: This subway system has four lines—Green, Orange, Yellow, and Blue—that go to different places on Montreal Island. Metro Radisson offers free round-trip tickets for the three STM zones from 5 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, until November 27. Commuters may pick up their tickets on weekends from 5:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
- RTL taxi: This taxi service operates in Boucherville and provides rides to Metro Radisson or other destinations within the city. Commuters can book rides through the RTL app.
- Ferry: This boat service operates between Boucherville and Montreal’s Old Port. Commuters can enjoy a scenic ride across the river and access various attractions in the downtown area.
Five lots offer free parking to commuters who want to leave their cars and hop on the bus:
- The Touraine lot in Boucherville is located near Montarville & Highway 20 (exit 95).
- The Mortagne lot in Boucherville is located at the intersection of Highway 20 & de Mortagne Blvd.
- The Montarville lot in Boucherville is located at Highway 132 & Montarville Blvd (exit 18).
- The Boloeil lot is in Boloeil, at the base of the Arthur-Branchaud Bridge.
- The Sainte-Julie parking lot is off Armand-Frappier Boulevard in Sainte-Julie (Exit 102 of Highway 20).
To plan your trips and optimize your routes, you can use various tools and apps that provide real-time information on traffic conditions and travel times. Some of these tools and apps are:
- Quebec’s traffic tracker: This website provides estimated travel times specifically for those traveling through the tunnel. You can also see the traffic cameras and the road work alerts.
- Google Maps: This is a website and a mobile app that provides directions, maps, traffic information, and travel times for various modes of transportation. You can also see the live traffic updates and the alternative routes.
- Waze: This mobile app provides navigation, traffic information, and travel times for drivers. You can also see the live traffic updates, the road hazards, the gas prices, and the carpooling options.
- CJAD 800: This is a radio station that provides regular traffic updates all day long. You can also listen to news, talk shows, and podcasts.
The tunnel Lafontaine closure is a significant challenge for commuters crossing the river between Montreal and Longueuil. However, various options and services can help them avoid or minimize the congestion caused by the closure. By carpooling, using public transit, or taking alternative routes, commuters can save time, money, and stress. Commuters can also stay informed about traffic conditions and travel times using various tools and apps. Following these tips and suggestions, commuters can navigate the tunnel Lafontaine closure for the next three years.