A school board in Vaudreuil-Dorion has decided to shutter its elementary and high schools Tuesday due to the indefinite closure of the Île-aux-Tourtes bridge on the western tip of Montreal.
The Centre de services scolaire des Trois-Lacs issued a statement on the long weekend to notify staff, parents and students of its decision.
“We are aware of the inconvenience this situation can cause,” the school board said. “However, the geographic configuration of our territory means that the transportation of employees and students to schools is directly affected.”
Trois-Lacs says the closure set for Tuesday will allow each school in the area to “analyze the impacts of this situation on its environment.”
“We will assess the situation and make the necessary adjustments in each area, in order to provide students with the most appropriate teaching conditions given the circumstances,” the board said.
The bridge was immediately closed Thursday during the afternoon rush-hour — snarling traffic on and off the island of Montreal. Authorities said engineers decided to shut down the 56-year-old span for safety reasons.
The critical span, connecting Montreal’s West Island to Vaudreuil-Dorion along Highway 40, sees more than 80,000 vehicles on a daily basis.
It is also one of the main bridges that motorists use to travel from Montreal to Ontario on the Trans-Canada Highway system.
The shutdown has forced drivers to opt for highways 20 and 30 in lengthy detours. The train line that serves the off-island area is also available free of charge until the bridge reopens.
Quebec Transport Minister François Bonnardel said on Friday that drilling as part of work to the Île-aux-Tourtes bridge damaged the structure. He said he is doing everything in his power “to open this bridge as quickly as possible.”
Bonnardel was not able to say when span is expected to reopen he is doing everything he can for it to happen as soon as possible.
— With files from the Canadian Press
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