Highway 30

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Highway 30 will open Dec. 15

  • Work on the new bridge's toll booths appears to be nearly done.
    Work on the new bridge's toll booths appears to be nearly done.
    Photo credit: Navneet Pall/The Gazette

Quebec’s Transport ministry says it will open the extension of Highway 30 on Dec. 15, on schedule, and as agreed with the private company taking on the work.

The new four-lane highway will be managed by a private company called Nouvelle Autoroute 30 s.e.n.c. (NA30), led by Spanish-based companies Acciona and Iridium, which will get 30 years to collect tolls before turning the highway back to the government. The private company was given $1.5 billion from the provincial government, which it must pay back with revenue collected from tolls. After that amount is paid back, the company must continue to maintain the highway, and it will continue to earn revenue from the tolls.

According to the public-private partnership agreement, the highway is to open no later than Dec. 15. Sylvie Marier, a spokesperson for the consortium confirmed Thursday the highway will open on Dec. 15, but the exact time has yet to be determined.

A new website was set up recently to answer users questions about the highway including its toll system.

Motorists driving over the Serge Marcil Bridge – a 1.86-kilometre span over the St. Lawrence River – will have to pay a toll of 75 cents per axle for small cars for a total of $1.50). Trucks, and cars with trailers will pay $1.15 per axle (trucks with 12 wheels or six axles, for example, will pay $6.90 to cross the bridge). The tolls can be paid by credit card or cash in one of 14 toll plazas set up on the highway (seven in each direction).

Frequent users will be able to buy transponders to pay their tolls in advance and get access to an express toll lane. A transponder is an RFID tag that users can stick to their cars which the toll booth will read automatically, and the barrier will lift for cars rolling through at 20 kilometres per hour or less, Marier explained. Users paying with cash or credit card will have to stop and pay. The transponder can be purchased for $5 online, or at the head office of the new highway’s management at 5388 Pierre Dansereau Ave. in St-Timothée. Transponder users will have to pay a monthly fee of $1.60 per month for cars, or $2.50 for trucks.

While the head of Quebec’s trucking association complained the new toll system could lead to bottlenecks, Marier pointed out that having a pay-as-you-go system for most will avoid high administrative fees in place on the Autoroute 25 bridge in Laval (which costs around $7 for a one-time use), or the Highway 407 near Toronto, which has seen tolls skyrocket as high as $26. With those systems, a photo is taken of each car’s licence plate, and then bills are sent to the address of the car’s owner.

The $1.5-billion project more than 45 years in the making will have major implications for the whole region. On the island of Montreal, traffic from large trucks is expected to decrease, as they bypass the island to travel between Ontario and the U.S. border. People who regularly commute between Boucherville and Vaudreuil-Dorion, will shave between 23 and 31 minutes off their trip, and the area will see economic benefits as it becomes a major transport hub. In Montreal, it’s estimated 5,000 transporter trucks per day and 12,000 private vehicles will be diverted from the island’s congested roadways.

jmagder@montrealgazette.com
Twitter: @OffIslandNews
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Read more about Highway 30 in our three-part series:

Part 1: Background: New highway a boon to the region
Part 2: New Highway will alleviate traffic|
Part 3: Economic spinoffs: Highway has region dreaming big

6 comments

  1. Considering that a large minority of the trucks using the new highway will be from eastern Canada , Ontario and the US, would it have killed the builders to have the web site explaining the toll structure in English as well. Usual Quebec nonsense.

  2. There is no street called Pierre Dansereau Ave. in St-Timothée. I live there and would like to know
    where i really go for a transponder???

  3. A reminder to Clyde (probably not a truck driver) that near the top right of each page there is the word “English” that he can click on. Does he really think that the truck drivers are not well aware of the tolls ?

  4. We travelled the new Highway 30 and used a credit card to pay the bridge toll…and were charged $2.25!!! Why is there no mention of this anywhere?

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