Quebec Autoroute 720
|Maintained by Transports Québec|
|Length:||8.5 km (5.3 mi)|
|Existed:||1972  – present|
|West end:||A-15 and A-20 in Montreal|
|A-10 in downtown Montreal|
|East end:||Notre-Dame Street in Downtown Montreal|
Autoroute 720 (A-720), known as the Ville-Marie Expressway (English) or Autoroute Ville-Marie (French) is an Autoroute highway in the Canadian province of Quebec that is a spur route of Autoroute 20 in Montreal. Its western end starts at the Turcot Interchange, a junction with Autoroute 15 and Autoroute 20, and its eastern terminus is at the Jacques Cartier Bridge (Route 134), where the highway merges with Notre-Dame Street. The Autoroute Ville-Marie designation is named after the downtown borough of Ville-Marie, through which the expressway is routed.
Part of A-720 runs underground (below grade) through Downtown Montreal. This section begins from the west at Rue de la Montagne/Atwater Street (Exit 4) and remains underground to its current eastern end, except for a short section between Bleury St. and Saint Laurent Boulevard. The tunnelled section west of this gap is known as the Ville-Marie Tunnel, and the section east of it is known as Viger Tunnel. However, locals regard both tunnels as one, and the term Ville-Marie Tunnel is often used to refer to both tunnels.
Future plans from the provincial transport ministry (Le ministère des Transports du Québec, or MTQ) are to extend this tunnel to Autoroute 25 at its Souligny Avenue interchange. The right-of-way has existed since the original layout of the 720, and buildings along the extension were demolished at that time, even though the 720 was not completed due to cost constraints. The government of Montreal would instead convert the portion of Notre Dame east of the Jacques Cartier Bridge into a six-lane urban boulevard, instead of a sunken limited access expressway. It is currently an undivided four-lane city street. The final project has been approved, and work began on Souligny Avenue to double the span of the travel lanes. In late July 2009, there was an Autoroute 720 westbound shield that has been installed on this stretch. It was originally envisioned that Autoroute 20 would extend from the Turcot Interchange, along the route of the 720, to the Louis Hippolyte Lafontaine Bridge-Tunnel.
In 2007, working crews for Transports Québec discovered major cracks in a support pillar and closed several lanes of the expressway. Transports Quebec announced on August 10, 2007, major repair projects for a large section of the Expressway west of the Ville-Marie tunnel. In addition, the full reconstruction of the Turcot Interchange in the next several years will also affect portions of the 720.
On July 31, 2011, part of the roof of the Ville-Marie Tunnel collapsed, sending large chunks of concrete to the road below. Fortunately, this happened on a Sunday when there was little traffic, and no cars were damaged by the collapse. Several construction workers were on site at the time and none of them were hurt, either. The tunnel had to be closed for repair of the roof and several other parts of the tunnel. Transport Minister Sam Hamad announced on Friday, August 5 that the tunnel would re-open the following day unless there was another incident.
Interchanges from West to East
|Montreal||1N||Autoroute 15 (Decarie Expressway) North||(westbound exit only)|
|1S||Autoroute 15 / Autoroute 20 East||(westbound exit only)|
|2||Saint-Jacques Street||(westbound exit and eastbound entrance)|
|Montreal/Westmount||2||Atwater Avenue||(eastbound exit only)|
|Montreal||3||Guy Street||(eastbound exit and westbound entrance)|
|4||Ave. Atwater||(westbound exit only)|
|4||Mountain Street, Rue Saint-Jacques||(eastbound exit and westbound entrance)|
|5||Champlain Bridge via Autoroute 10 (Bonaventure Expressway) / Rue University via Rue Mansfield||(westbound exit and eastbound entrance - inside tunnel)|
|6||Saint Laurent Boulevard/ Rue Berri / Vieux-Montreal||(eastbound exit and westbound entrance)|
|7||Jacques Cartier Bridge/Papineau Avenue/De Lorimier Ave. via Rue Notre-Dame||(eastbound exit only - westbound at-grade intersection - eastern end of tunnel)|
|8*||Ville-Marie Boulevard / Rue Notre-Dame||*End of autoroute, based on kilometre post|
- "Répertoire des autoroutes du Québec" (in French). Transports Québec. Retrieved 2008-02-23.
- Ministère des transports, "Distances routières", page (?), Les Publications du Québec, 2005
- "Huge concrete slab falls in Montreal expressway tunnel". CBC.ca. Retrieved Aug 1, 2011.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Quebec Autoroute 720.|
- A-720 at Exitlists.com
- Ville Marie Autoroute (A-720) at Steve Anderson's montrealroads.com
- Transports Quebec Map (French)