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Montreal South Bypass (AutoRoute 30)

What to See & Do on the Montreal South Bypass?

To quickly get either east of or west of Montreal, without going through Montreal and getting stuck in the traffic or in construction (2023-2025). This toll-route is a great time-saver.

You get to see Montreal’s vibrant South Shore communities, but the highlight of this route is TWO bridge crossings over the St Lawrence River and Sta Lawrence, plus a tunnel underneath a canal just to the north

Quebec Itinerary - Montreal South Bypass A30

Montreal South Bypass Overview

AutoRoute 30 takes about 1:15 hrs to drive, and bypasses the major Montreal Bridges for the AutoRoute 40 and 20 bridges on the West Island (crossing the Ottawa River) and bridges and/or tunnels crossing to Montreal’s South Shore, as well as the busy stop-and-go traffic on Montreal Island. During the rush hour (or during winter snowstorms) it can take just under 2 hours to cross Montreal on the AutoRoute 20 or AutoRoute 40. The route passes over a variety of landscapes, including the urban areas of Montreal’s south shore communities, farmland, and the Kahnawake Mohawk Territory.

Route Access

From the West

How to bypass Montreal going east:

  1. from AutoRoute 40 (a continuation of Ontario’s 417 south from Ottawa) at Exit 32 to Sorel-Tracy / Toronto, (about at km 150 of that itinerary) OR
  2. from AutoRoute 20 (a continuation of Ontario’s 401 from Toronto) take exit 29 to Sorel-Tracy Ottawa/Gatineau (about km 239 of that Itinerary). After exiting A-20, stay in the RIGHT LANE.

 From the East

How to bypass Montreal going west:

  1. Access this route from the east on AutoRoute 20 from Quebec City/Levis at Exit 98 (at km 215 of that itinerary)
Highway 30 toll plaza-closeup-sliver
Highway 30 toll plaza-closeup-sliver

AutoRoute 30 Description

North St Lawrence (Ontario Access)

This is the approach to the A30 Montreal Bypass if you are approaching Montreal from Toronto or Kingston on the 401 or if you are coming from the Trans-CanadaHighway #17/417 Ottawa to Montreal.

Accessing this Montreal South Bypass from the west, you either catch if from the A40 (from Ontario 417) before the Île aux Tourtes Bridge into Montreal or from the A20 (from Ontario 401) before the Galipeault Bridge crossing the Lake of Two Mountains or Lac deux Montagnesinto Montreal (see Montreal Bridges article). From these interchanges, the highway heads south across a mix of farmland and Montreal suburb to the toll booths (in both directions).

On the southbound trek from the AR40 junction to the AR20 junction to the St Lawrence, this rioute touche on  the communities of Vaudreuil-Dorion (at the AR40) and Salaberry-de-Valleyfield (to the west of the AR30, between the first and second bridges over the St Lawrence)

South of the toll plaza, you cross the St Lawrence TWICE. The two crossings over the St. Lawrence required the Canadian Parliament to pass laws approving their construction.

Crossing the St Lawrence

The north channel has significant dams and rapids, and is crossed by the 2.5 kilometres long Madeleine-Parent Bridge, which crosses the Soulanges Canal of the seaway on the north side and then one channel of the St Lawrence River. there are dams and rapids on both sides of the highway.

Les Cedres Tunnel under C anal de Soulanges on 30 South
Les Cedres Tunnel under C anal de Soulanges on 30 South

Montreal South Shore Communities

The Autoroute bends east and crosses the Beauharnois Bridge across the St Lawrence Seaway (the Beauharnois Canal is on the north side) and then the St Lawrence River.  (If you headed west after the first brige you would visit Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, a city which lies on the shore of Lake Saint Francis, with plenty of marinas and water sports.) The Beauharnois Bridge is a 2.5-kilometres long structure, clearing the navigation channel by 38.5 metres. The Beauharnois Dam is east of the bridge is was built as part of the St Lawrence Seaway project in the late 1950s. The Beauharnois Dam is 24 m (60 ft) high and has 36 turbines generating 1.9 megawatts of power for the Montreal area. Tours of the dam are available

After passing the community of Beauharnois, you see the Îles de la Paix National Wildlife Area on islands in the middle of the St Lawrence. After you cross the Mercier Bridge, the route passes through the Kahnawake Mohawk Territory. Then you pass the Montreal South Shore bedroom communities of Beauharnois, Chateauguay, Candiac (and a junction with A-15 to the US border), Brossard (and a junction with A-10 from Montreal to the Eastern Townships), and Longeueuil. In between Chateauguary and Candiac, on the north side of AR30 is the Kahnawake Mohawk Territory, where visitors can learn about the history and culture of the Mohawk people.

Finally, at Boucherville, on one side and Sainte-Julie on the other, you reconnect to the A-20 Trans Canada Highway east to Quebec City (you join that itinerary at km 36).

The AutoRoute 30 continues in a northeasterly direction toward the St Lawrence, passing through Varennes and ending in Sorel-Tracy, where the mighty Richelieu River enters the St Lawrence, and not far from the bridge over the St Lawrence to Trois-Rivieres on the north bank.


AutoRoute 30 Montreal South Bypass Elevation Chart

AutoRoute 30 Montreal South Bypass Elevation Chart
AutoRoute 30 Montreal South Bypass Elevation Chart

Route History

Autoroute 30 (A-30) is also known as the Autoroute de l’Acier (which translated into English is “Steel Freeway”).  The planning and construction of the A-30 goes back to the early days of autoroute construction boom in the 1960s.

It was originally called Highway 3,  and was designed to replace Route 132 (which is a relaxed 2-lane road that connects small towns and villages along the south bank of the St Lawrence to — and around — the Gaspe Peninsula) as the main artery for communities along the Montreal South Shore of the St. Lawrence River.

The A-30 was originally intended to begin at the U.S. border at Dundee and end at Saint-Pierre-les-Becquets (in Centre-du-Québec). In the late 1970s an eight-year moratorium on new autoroute construction in favour of public transport by the Parti Québécois prevented implementation of that plan.

The first completed section of Autoroute 30 in 1968, started at Sorel-Tracy south to Route 116 (which was then called Highway 9). The A-30 was extended further south to an interchange with Autoroute 10 in Brossard by 1985 (to coonnect Montreal to the Eastern Townships)  and to Autoroute 15 in Candiac by 1996  (which connected Montreal to the US border, and I-87 to Plattsburg and Albany, New York).

By 2006, the growing road congestion in and around Montreal led to the announcement of a federal-provincial partnership to complete A-30 as southwestern bypass ring road.

The initial expection was the Châteauguay to Vaudreuil-Dorion section was to be tolled, though in 2009 it was decided to collect tolls on a new bridge built over the  St. Lawrence west of Beauharnois. A-30 was extended north of the St. Lawrence River with interchanges with A-20 (connecting Ontario’s 401 to Montreal)  and with A-40 (connecting to Ontario’s 417 to/from Ottawa).

The full Autoroute 30 was opened to traffic  in late 2012, enabling motorists travelling the Quebec CityWindsor Corridor to bypass the island of Montreal’s  traffic and congestion (saving 45 minutes in travel time, more in rush hours).

Search Listings along this Itinerary

Visit Montreal, Quebec


Highway 30 - Pont Serge-Marcil over the St Lawrence-sliver
Highway 30 - Pont Serge-Marcil over the St Lawrence-sliver

Autoroute 30 Montreal South Bypass Itinerary Segment Map


Highway 30 – bypass Montreal map