Project 365 – Day 256: The Turcot Interchange
September 12 2012
Built in the mid-1960’s and opened in time for the Montreal Expo 67, the Turcot Interchange is nearing the end of its life as one of the busiest road junctions in Montreal. Despite not being that old, the original design was flawed and with the harsh winters and high growth in traffic, problems have become increasingly more worrisome resulting in regular partial closures and growing maintenance costs.
The planned replacement is not without critics though. Instead of the current elevated design, the new road system will be lower causing many to be concerned that pollution (emissions and noise) will be higher, that the design doesn’t discourage car commuting and that some 160 homes will be expropriated.
The bill for the demolishing and replacement is budgeted at 3 billion $ and is expected to be completed by 2018 – with a lot of traffic chaos between now and then to cope with – but hey, Montrealers are used to traffic chaos, we have a monopoly on orange cones 😉
This was the first time I visited Turcot to photograph it. I was worried most areas beneath would be fenced off but found a nice large area on rue Notre-Dame Ouest near blvd Monk. Being mid-afternoon on a weekday, there were too many workers around to be climbing over fences – not that I condone such behavior 😉
The next 2 shots I would love to re-shoot at night (if the street lamp is actually working).
I was lucky, despite there not being that much rain recently, there were still the odd puddles here and there from Saturday’s deluge that enabled me to grab a few reflection shots.
I couldn’t visit the Turcot interchange without heading up nearby rue Saint Jacques to check on the biggest building project currently taking place in Montreal (if not Canada). The McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) is the larger of 2 super hospitals currently being built in Montreal (the other being the French CHUM – Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal).
The MUHC site covers a 17 hectare area and is planned to open in the summer of 2015 offering state of the art patient care. The strange part is that with a capacity of 500 beds, the new hospital will actually have 300 less beds than is currently available at the MUHC existing sites – Well they do say people are moving off the island, but still, I would have thought more beds would have been the way to go
Once the Turcot is pulled down, the views across the Saint Lawrence should be nice though and with single bed rooms, I think I will prefer being a patient here than say the Royal Victoria which looks more like a haunted castle.
I didn’t count the number of cranes on site now, but at one time I think the site had the most cranes (9) ever seen on a single construction site in Québec and had to have GPS installed to prevent collisions.
A friend on Google + recently posted a great picture taken on rue Saint Jacques with the city skyline in the background and the MUHC on the left. Since I was in the area, I managed to get a shot from a similar perspective – Thanks Jerry for the inspiration for this next shot 🙂
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Thanks for stopping by. Until next time.