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Louis-Hippolyte-La Fontaine Tunnel entrance.

Louis-Hippolyte-La Fontaine Tunnel entrance.

Traffic or treat? The Louis-Hippolyte-La Fontaine Tunnel, a major link between Montreal and the South Shore city of Boucherville, is about to undergo a partial closure to make way for a years-long construction project.

On Thursday, the Ministry of Transport (MTQ) announced that the three-year, three-lane closure will officially — and appropriately — begin on October 31.

From then until November 2025, only two lanes will be open in the Montreal direction. Commuters will have to squeeze into a single lane to return to the South Shore. There are usually three lanes open in each direction.

So, drivers should be ready for traffic congestion. The ministry estimates that as many as 120,000 vehicles pass through the tunnel every day.

"Today, the message we are sending to the population is that they must think of a plan B to avoid using the tunnel with their car," Minister responsible for Montreal Chantal Rouleau said in a press release.

To encourage transit ridership, the government is making parking lots for RTL buses 61 and 461, and exo shuttles 520, 521 and 532 free beginning October 17.

The ministry also promised vaguely to "improve" yellow metro line service, increase bus departure frequency at the line's terminus in Longueuil and launch a carpool pilot project (details TBA).

"We are aware that these closures in the Louis-Hippolyte-La Fontaine tunnel will disrupt the travel habits of thousands of road users," Transport Minister François Bonnardel said in the release.

"This is the best scenario to preserve this vital transportation corridor for the long term."

The government said the partial closure will mean that the tunnel won't need more major work for 40 years.

We'll see about that.

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