History of the Trans-Canada across Quebec



Louis Hippolyte Lafontaine Bridge-Tunnel over/under the St Lawrence at Montreal 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 connection is 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 the bridges and tunnels into the Island, as well as expediting traffic into (and past) the downtown core.

  • 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)

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


Here are some history notes, organized by Itinerary Segment (from west to east):

Ottawa to Montreal

Montreal to Quebec City

Quebec City to Riviere du Loup

Riviere du Loup to Grand Falls, NB



Other Resources

Quebec Trans-Canada overview Quebec Highways Map 50 Years of Trans-Canada

More Trans-Canada Highway History

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