Fluidity is crucial for a logistics chain. More than 800,000 containers are transported by truck each year to and from the Port of Montreal, which is connected to a national network of highways throughout Canada and the U.S. Up to 2,500 trucks move through the port each day.
Another 700,000-plus containers are transported annually by rail to and from the port. The Montreal Port Authority (MPA) operates its own on-dock railway system that is directly connected to Canadian National and Canadian Pacific and their North American networks, with daily departures to Toronto, Chicago and Detroit. Some 60 to 80 container trains move through the port each week.
Significant investments are being made in the roadways adjacent to the Port of Montreal and in its railway network to optimize the port’s intermodal network and facilitate the transport of goods to and from world markets.
A major road infrastructure project will extend L’Assomption Blvd. between Notre-Dame St. and Pierre-de-Coubertin Ave. This will allow for the connection of a new road at the port exit to the future extension of Souligny Ave., thereby creating a new and more efficient road link between the Port of Montreal and the Trans-Canada Highway.
“To support growth in the containerized cargo market, it became imperative to keep improving the road network system near our facilities, in collaboration with the Governments of Canada and Quebec and the City of Montreal, so that goods can be more smoothly moved by truck, and that is exactly the goal of this project,” said Sylvie Vachon, the MPA’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Extending L’Assomption Blvd. will have a direct impact on our competitiveness. This is a mobilizing project that will make a contribution to improving the flow of freight transport by road in the city.”
The extension of L’Assomption Blvd., coupled with the MPA’s construction of an overpass spanning Notre-Dame St. and the port’s rail lines, will help complete the traffic circulation loop, intended for heavy vehicles that enter and leave the port, by providing direct access to port facilities. Trucks will be able to completely avoid the local road network to reach the port. This will lighten the traffic load and reduce congestion and wait times for citizens and transport companies.
This project comes on the heels of other work to reconfigure and improve direct road access to the Port of Montreal. Construction of a new truck entrance on Boucherville St. and a new direct access ramp to Highway 25 North were completed in 2016. A new direct access ramp to Highway 25 South opened in November 2017. The new ramps already have saved truck drivers entering and leaving the port 27 minutes in wait time.
In 2017, the MPA began a four-pronged modernization project that includes a component to optimize the port’s railway network capacity, particularly in the port’s railway interchange zone. The project will improve rail fluidity for Canadian National and Canadian Pacific railways, terminal operators and shipping lines.
The MPA will install 6,000 metres of railway network track and switches, relocate underground and above-ground infrastructure, relocate and construct the port’s new road, and carry out additional development work on the network in order to eliminate bottlenecks while increasing the flow of traffic and the port’s competitiveness.