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Autoroute 640-Montreal


Does anyone know why Montreal has an incomplete beltway, and why Autoroutes 30 and 640 do not connect to one another?

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Steve Anderson has most of the story right, but I have yet to see an recent official document regarding the Oka-Hudson routing. While the idea pops once in a while here and there (from this engineeing bulletin in 1974 to some chamber of commerce in 2012), the only official allusion I can find is a 1966 press release regarding the inception of the primitive autoroute numbering system ― and it's still very vague about the schedule and the routing, citing only two towns as terminuses.

Beyond 1970, official maps call for a western terminus of A-640 at Saint-Placide. The choice of Mirabel as a site for the new airport called for a revision of the highway planification northwest of Montreal; if a new east-west expressway was to serve Mirabel, it would run farther north than A-640 and double as a Montréal bypass towards Ontario and western Québec, with A-13 connecting both at the western tip of the metropolitan area (interview with De Belleval, Transport minister in 1981). 1981 is before the standoff between aboriginal peoples and the army at Oka, and right after a national park was created at the very terminus of autoroute 640.

The most recent (2003) proposal about A-640 completion is the ¾-loop (A-640 and A-30, with a bridge in Repentigny), that motivated the completion of A-30. I give more details about A-640 in a two-post series in another topic.

A full loop looks good on a map, but a bridge over Outaouais river would be as useless as socially explosive.


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