UPDATE: A second lane will reopen in both directions on the bridge as of Monday 5 a.m., the Ministry of Transportation announced Sunday.
The Île-aux-Tourtes bridge is partially reopening three days earlier than planned, starting Friday at 5 a.m. with one lane in both directions.
The bridge, which connects Montreal's West Island to the off-island suburb of Vaudreuil-Dorion via Highway 40, was closed suddenly last week.
Transport Minister François Bonnardel held a news conference earlier this week, saying the gradual reopening of the bridge would begin Monday.
But in an update Thursday with Chantal Rouleau, the minister responsible for Montreal, he said work to strengthen rods on the bridge had advanced enough to make it safe to start the reopening Friday.
The closure was caused by human error during maintenance work, the minister said last week. It forced some children to stay home from school and led to an influx of cars on residential streets in several West Island municipalities.
Damaged rods are being replaced, additional external reinforcement will be added and crews will continue reinforcing support beams with a carbon-fibre polymer.
Bonnardel said a 100 or so workers have been working to reinforce the bridge, around the clock, since it closed last Thursday.
As many as 87,000 motorists use the bridge during peak hours. Traffic has been diverted by Highways 20 and 30. The Transport Ministry has cancelled the toll on Highway 30. Rides on the Vaudreuil-Hudson Exo commuter train are free.
Rouleau said the cancelled toll and free commuter train will continue until the bridge has fully reopened. It's unclear when that will happen.