History of Montreal Highways of the Trans-Canada highway



Montreal's downtown at night

Quebec #40, #20, #185

Autoroute 40, officially known as Autoroute Félix-Leclerc outside Montreal and Metropolitan Autoroute/Autoroute Métropolitaine within Montreal, is a freeway on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River in the Canadian province of Quebec. It is one of the two major connections between Montreal and Quebec City, the other being Autoroute 20 on the south shore of the St. Lawrence. Autoroute 40 is currently 347 km (215.6 mi) long. Between the Ontario-Quebec boundary and the interchange with Autoroute 25, the route is signed as part of the Trans-Canada Highway.

The road from Montreal to Quebec City was the first road in Quebec to be covered in asphalt when built 1913-1918.

In 1950 when the Trans-Canada Highway Act was passed and the supporting provincial funding agreements were negotiated, Quebec would receive about 21% allocation of the road construction budget. The most expensive parts are in and around Montreal with specific allocations to

AutoRoute 15 in Montreal Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine bridge-tunnel, ($75 million) to connect #40 at the east end of the Island of Montreal with the south shore and #20

Boulevard Decarie ($83 million) to build a blow grade expressway ditch for #15 to connect Route 20 & 40 in the city, and to the south shore of the St Lawrence (where #10 goes to Eastern Townships and #15 goes south to US border)

Turcot Interchange ($25 million), to resolve grading conflicts with CP Rail lines in the city, along the south side of the Island of Montreal, by building the expressway 70 feet (21 metres) overhead


University Interchange ($30 million)

University Interchange under construction A further allocation of $130 million for the 177 miles (285 km) between Quebec City and New Brunswick

Initially, the Trans-Canada Highway would go around Montreal, and later the Metropolitan Expressway was completed and the highway re-routed. The construction stopped in 1967 for the Expo 67 World's Fair, and restarts again in 1970.

The Turcot Interchange (Autoroute 20/15) is necessary, and the Turcot connects the Trans-Canada to the Metropolitan via Decarie Expressway


Montreal Metro (Subway)

Montreal has a modern subway system When the Expo 67 Worlds Fair was announced in 1962 to celebrate Canada's Centennial, not only was the exposition to be build, but the land it is on, and the transit system to get the guest to the worlds fair.

Constructed from 1962-1966, this subway is 25 km long, and has 26 stations, and cost $270million to build. The cars run on rubber tires to operate very quietly, and each of the stations has unique artwork created for it, influenced by the architecture on the surface around that station. The rock excavated from the subway was transported to become the base of I'ile Ste-Helene.


Autoroute 40 in Montreal

Autoroute 40 (officially called Autoroute Félix-Leclerc outside Montreal and Metropolitan Autoroute/Autoroute Métropolitaine within Montreal) is a major highway on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River in Quebec, Canada. It is one of the two main connections between Montreal and Quebec City (the other being Autoroute 20 on the south shore of the St. Lawrence). Autoroute 40 is 347 km (215.6 mi) long.

The western terminus of Autoroute 40 is located at the Ontario-Quebec border, where it continues westward as Highway 417 towards Ottawa. The portion of Autoroute 40 from the Ontario border to Autoroute 25 is part of the Trans-Canada Highway. The eastern terminus is in Boischatel, where it transitions into Route 138, which follows the north shore of the Gulf of St Lawrence, and a road link to Labrador.


Metropolitan Autoroute

Its Metropolitan Autoroute portion in Montreal is the busiest highway in Quebec, as well as the second busiest in Canada after Highway 401 in Toronto.

Of historical note, a 25 km (16 mi) stretch of the highway in Pointe-Claire (from roughly St. John's Boulevard near Fairview Pointe-Claire Shopping Centre to St. Charles Boulevard) was used during the 1976 Summer Olympics for the men's road team time trial cycling race.

Autoroute 25 in Montreal

Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine bridge-tunnel Autoroute 25 (or A-25, also called Autoroute Louis-H.-Lafontaine in Montreal) runs for 49 km (30.4 mi) in a north-south direction, perpendicular to the St Lawrence River. In the south it begins at Route 132 in Longueuil and uses the Louis Hippolyte Lafontaine Bridge-Tunnel to enter the east end of Montreal. Autoroute 25 continues north across the Rivière-des-Prairies to Autoroute 440 (which runs east-west across Laval) and continues to the north shor of the St Lawrence.

The designation of Autoroute Louis-H.-Lafontaine is named after Louis Hippolyte Lafontaine, a 19th-century Lower Canada leader of what was then the Province of Canada. A-25 is also part of the Trans-Canada Highway between the A-20 and A-40 interchanges.

The 7.2 km extension of Autoroute 25 has been further north under a public-private partnership. This will join the southern part of Autoroute 25 at Boulevard Henri-Bourassa in Montreal's East end and the northern part at Laval's Autoroute 440. The $207-million project, opened in 2011, recovers it costs with tolls (cars with transponder pay $2.48 per crossing at peak hours (6-9 AM and 3:30-6:30 PM) and $1.86 per crossing the rest of the day. Cars without transponders pay an additional $5.15 in administration fees.

Autoroute 20 in Montreal

The A-20 then traverses the West Island (in French, l'Ouest de l'Île) along the north shore of Lac Saint-Louis. It passes the A-520 interchange, commonly called the Dorval Interchange, which is the main access to Montreal's Trudeau International Airport. Further east, the A-20 crosses the A-13 at its southern terminus, which is a west Siland route to the north shore and the Laurentians. Further east, at the St. Pierre Interchange, it connects with Route 138 south west towards the Mercier Bridge across the St Lawrence.

Just west of downtown Montreal, the A-20, A-15, and A-720 meet at the Turcot Interchange. From this interchange, A-15 continues north to Laval, while A-20 east joins with A-15 heading over the Champlain Bridge. Eastbound traffic into the city centre continues as the A-720 (Autoroute Ville-Marie).

Between Route 138 and the Turcot Interchange, the carriageways on Autoroute 20 are reversed, making it one of the few stretches of roadway in Canada where traffic drives on the left side of the road.

Two Autoroutes (A-10, A-15) cross the Saint Lawrence River via the Champlain Bridge to the South Shore (in French, Rive Sud). South of the bridge, the Autoroutes diverge: A-10 heads east into the Eastern Townships. A-20/132 parallels the south shore of the river through suburban Longueuil., where after a few kilometers, in has a junction with the A-25 connecting to the Louis Hippolyte Lafontaine Bridge-Tunnel north into Montreal's East End, and south to join the Trans-Canada Highway A-20.

Montreal Bypass - Autoroute 30

Map of AutoRoute 30 toll route that bypasses Montreal to the south
When the first Autoroutes through Montreal (20/25/40) were built, in time for Expo 67 and Canada's Centennial, they were as modern as can be. Urban growth and the increase in truck traffic over the next 40 years has brought the roads and bridges to capacity, especially when combining through traffic with local traffic onto and off the Island of Montreal.

Planning began for a new Autoroute 30, to connect Montréal and the Montérégie region, and to allow through traffic to bypass the Island. The long-awaited 42-kilometre stretch of road completes this major highway project. The new infrastructure connects Autoroute 20/40 in Vaudreuil-Dorion to the existing Autoroute 30 from Sorel-Tracy to Châteauguay.

Construction in the Western section of Autoroute 30 began in spring 2009, building a tunnel under the Soulanges canal, building Serge-Marcil Bridge (pont Serge-Marcil) over the St. Lawrence, and a bridge over canal de Beauharnois, in adtion to 42 kilometres (26 mi) of roadway

St Lawrence Seaway information


The new section of roadway opened in 2012, at a cost of $704.5 million. Tolls are collected at the north end of pont Serge-Marci. And, vehicles without a transponder/decal for electronic payment must stop to pay at a toll booth. Cash tolls are about $3 a car, and $2 an axle for trucks.

The project to complete Autoroute 30 also included the construction of the Eastern portion between Saint-Constant and Candiac (opened 2010) and the Jean-Leman stretch (opened in 2011).

AutoRoute 30 Tollroute Bypass

Other Resources

Montreal to Quebec City itinerary Quebec Highways Map 50 Years of Trans-Canada

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