As we enter 2020, Montrealers can look forward to several exciting infrastructure developments rolling out in the new decade. The blue line extension to Anjou, the completion of the REM light rail network, the new Grand Parc de l'Ouest, and the Pie-IX bus rapid transit project are set to change the way we move through and enjoy our city. But no project has captured the public attention (and fury) more than the Turcot Interchange reconstruction.

The tangled web of ramps, service roads, tracks, and lanes at the intersection of routes 15, 20, and 720 has been under construction since 2015.

By fall 2020 the Turcot is projected to finally be complete, relieving half a decade of frustration and simplifying travel between the West Island, northwest, airport, downtown, and South Shore.

As of December 2019, the project was 86% complete. A total of almost 900 workers have reconstructed 50 of the complex's 56 structures, laid 96 kilometres of lanes, and planted more than 25,000 trees, shrubs, and grasses of the 60,000 planned, according to the project website.

At the end of the year, the space the Turcot occupies will also be more welcoming for pedestrians and bikers.

Renderings posted to the Turcot website offer a glimpse of the features to come.

Montrealers won't see an end to significant highway construction with the completion of the Turcot, however.

Work to repair the Ville-Marie and Viger Tunnels, which carry perhaps the busiest section of Highway 720 underneath downtown, will take an additional ten years to complete.

"The tunnels were built and commissioned in the 1970s and 1980s. Over the years, the structures have deteriorated, as have the various systems required for operation," explains a Transports Québec press release from earlier this year.

"The major rehabilitation project will include repairs to structural components, replacement of operating equipment such as ventilation, electrical and drainage, and overhaul of the safety system."

Though the ministry assures that "it will be possible to limit the impact on mobility while maintaining activities in the tunnels," closures of boulevard St-Laurent and rue St-Urbain will also affect the circulation of pedestrians and motorists on the surface, according to CTV News.

In the year to come, Montrealers can expect construction in the city to reach a turning point, finally loosening its grip on some of the city's most congested arteries.

But those hoping for an end to the orange cone occupation might have to wait until the next decade.

In the meantime, those counting down the days until they can drive through the Turcot in peace can follow construction progress on the project website here.

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