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Author Topic: Quick trip: Philadelphia to Montréal  (Read 1043 times)

briantroutman

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Quick trip: Philadelphia to Montréal
« on: May 30, 2017, 02:26:38 PM »

I’ll be departing Philadelphia this evening for a quick trip to Montréal and stopping overnight roughly halfway. The most direct route would be I-95 → I-87 → A15, but depending on traffic conditions, it may be faster (or at least less stressful) to take I-476 → I-81 → ON 401. The overnight stop on I-87 would likely be Albany; for I-81, likely Syracuse.

I know I’ve taken both routes in the past, although nothing really stands out in my memory other than the two-lane “I-81” bridge through the Thousand Islands. I can run a travel time calculation before departure, but beyond time and distance, are there any reasons you’d suggest I take one route over the other?
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AsphaltPlanet

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Re: Quick trip: Philadelphia to Montréal
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2017, 03:13:48 PM »

There is currently some highway construction ongoing along the 401 at the Hwy 137 interchange just north of the Thousands Islands Bridge crossing.  Depending upon the time of the day, it may be wise to consider taking the Thousands Islands Parkway from the Thousands Islands Bridge instead of the 401.  There is some bridge reconstruction along the Parkway as well, but anytime I've crossed the bridges, there really hasn't been much of a delay.

Either way, if you go to Downtown Montreal, there is a lot of construction in the area.  The Turcot Interchange between A-20/720/10/15 is being reconstructed and there are a number of lane closures and lane realignments, and the western-most portion of A-10 is being demolished approaching Downtown.  I visited Montreal in the fall, and the traffic at the western edge of A-10 into Downtown was pretty brutal because of the construction.
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froggie

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Re: Quick trip: Philadelphia to Montréal
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2017, 04:09:50 PM »

Where in Philly are you originating?  Asking because one other alternative, which avoids Jersey and the NYC area, has some scenic qualities, and is shorter than and similar in drive time (at least per the Goog) to I-81 is to make your way to Bethlehem, take PA 33 and US 209 to Stroudsburg, then follow US 209 up to Milford, then I-84 to the Thruway and onward.  This is the routing I'd typically take up to Vermont from DC.
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briantroutman

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Re: Quick trip: Philadelphia to Montréal
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2017, 04:52:22 PM »

Where in Philly are you originating?

Media, to be precise (I-476, Exit 3). With either route, I’ll take I-476 North to Plymouth Meeting, and there, I’ll either turn eastward onto I-276 for the I-95/I-87 route or continue northward on the NE Extension for the I-81 route. I suspect Philadelphia area traffic delays will be roughly equal between the two.

I like PA 33 from an aesthetics and “sense of place” perspective, so I’ll consider that option. I haven’t taken US 209 very far north of Stroudsburg, but I suppose it’s a low-traffic, free-flowing rural two-laner—perhaps a nice change of pace from the rest of the route.
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02 Park Ave

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Re: Quick trip: Philadelphia to Montréal
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2017, 05:12:24 PM »

Here are some observations that may help with your decision:

276 can be slow between 476 and US 1.

206 north of Stroudsburg has no trucks on it.

If you do take 95, my favorite way to connect to 87 is get off the NJ Turnpike at Exit 11, take the GSP north to Exit 142B, take 78 to 24 to 287.  287 connects directly to the NYS Thruway at Exit 15.

Happy motoring!
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briantroutman

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Re: Quick trip: Philadelphia to Montréal
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2017, 05:41:29 PM »

Either way, if you go to Downtown Montreal, there is a lot of construction in the area.

Thanks for the heads up. I’m headed to the Plateau neighborhood near downtown, and it looks like my entry from the I-87 route would be slightly more straightforward: A-15 → QC 132 → QC 134. From the west: A-20 → A-30 → A-40, then a patchwork of city streets. Either way, though, I shouldn’t have difficulty avoiding A-10 downtown.


If you do take 95, my favorite way to connect to 87 is get off the NJ Turnpike at Exit 11, take the GSP north to Exit 142B, take 78 to 24 to 287.  287 connects directly to the NYS Thruway at Exit 15.

Thanks—I’ve made this connection in the past, too, and it works rather well.
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briantroutman

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Re: Quick trip: Philadelphia to Montréal
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2017, 10:26:15 PM »

I ended up taking the I-476/I-81 route, stopping overnight Wednesday near Syracuse. I left late enough (nearly 8 p.m.) that traffic was a non-issue leaving the Philadelphia area. The only challenge I encountered Wednesday night was a patch of fog in the Poconos on I-476.

The Thousand Islands border crossing was surprisingly quick, and I didn’t encounter any traffic issues on ON 401. Unfortunately, the smooth sailing stopped dead entering greater Montréal: It took nearly two hours to travel the last roughly 50 km from Vaudreuil to my destination in the city. Judging from the live traffic map in my car and the glimpses I caught of other Autoroutes along the way, it appeared that virtually the entire network was hopelessly congested at the time.

On the return trip, I stopped in Burlington to visit friends, and from there, took US 7 (which was an enjoyable drive) to Bennington and connected to I-87 via NY 7. After an overnight stop near Albany, I made the connection from the Thruway to I-84, then US 209 and PA 33. The drive on 209 was nice with a few exceptions. The speed limit was posted at 45, and even maintaining ten over the speed limit, I perpetually had people who I assume were locals (PA, but no emissions inspection sticker—it’s not required in that area) tailgating me. Then also, the section between the NPS territory and I-80 was both rather tacky and surprisingly choked with traffic.
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hbelkins

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Re: Quick trip: Philadelphia to Montréal
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2017, 12:02:43 AM »

Froggie definitely has more experience on 209 than I do, but I always found it agonizingly slow until you're well into the park.
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dgolub

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Re: Quick trip: Philadelphia to Montréal
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2017, 10:04:01 AM »

You could also do I-476 to I-81 to I-88 to I-87.  That cuts the diagonal to some degree.  I'd recommend avoiding I-95 through NYC since the traffic can be very bad on there.  If you do want to do the I-87 route, I'd recommend using the Garden State Parkway or NJ 17 to avoid going through NYC.
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Conn. Roads

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Re: Quick trip: Philadelphia to Montréal
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2017, 10:38:56 PM »

I would avoid the Champlain Bridge. You might be better off using Victoria, or Cartier. Have fun up there. Montreal is my second home.
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