MONTREAL – A single-truck accident turned Tuesday morning's rush hour into a commuting nightmare for a multitude of motorists commuting from the South Shore to downtown.
Traffic jams as long as six kilometres were reported.
A diesel-fuel spill on the approach to the Champlain Bridge at 4:30 a.m. – after tanks were pierced on a 53-foot rig that hit some traffic-control cones – triggered a cascade effect that yielded substantial traffic jams for that and other access routes into town, Sgt. Ingrid Asselin of the Sûreté du Québec said.
Access to all three northbound lanes of the Champlain was restored by about 6:45 a.m., after the apparently sizeable spill had been cleaned up and the rig towed away.
However, a fresh dimension of traffic chaos was instantly created by a three-vehicle mishap on the Montreal end of the Champlain, about 8:10 a.m., Asselin said.
That additional snafu took "between 20 and 25 minutes" to clear away, she said.
The spillover effects delivered by the one-two punch proved enormous.
Exceptionally long jams were reported on Taschereau Blvd. and the network of other access roads leading to the Jacques Cartier Bridge, the Victoria Bridge and the Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine Tunnel.