Thousands of liters of white paint spilled Tuesday on a portion of the Metropolitan highway after a truck lost its load, forcing the closure of this nerve center at the start of the day. Traffic was able to resume at the end of the afternoon, after a complex cleaning operation.
The event occurred around 7:50 a.m., during the morning rush hour, near Côte-Vertu Boulevard, on the Métropolitaine highway.
It was after a “braking maneuver on the part of the driver” that a truck from the company Minimax Express Transportation lost its load which contained between 10,000 and 20,000 liters of white paint, the Sûreté du Québec explained on Tuesday (SQ).
The paint then spilled everywhere on the roadway of the highway between Côte-Vertu Boulevard and the exit leading to Cavendish Boulevard, even as several motorists were driving on this axis in the northwest of Montreal.
This entire eastbound portion of the highway was then closed. At the beginning of the afternoon, the Ministry of Transport first confirmed that the right lane had been reopened to traffic. The other two lanes, those in the center and on the left, however, remained blocked. They were finally reopened late in the afternoon, around 4 p.m.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Transport, Sarah Bensadoun, had clarified earlier that the clean-up operation would be “quite complex” and would involve several stakeholders. The SQ, the Urgence-Environnement group and the Montreal Fire Safety Service (SIM) were sent to the site, as was a road inspection team from the ministry.
“We have also closed access to the drainage systems and sumps to avoid spillage into the pipes. We currently have tankers, pumps and mechanical brooms on site to carry out the cleaning. It is not impossible that other resources will be added along the way,” said the spokesperson.
Quebec has recommended motorists to avoid the area for the entire day Tuesday, as much as possible. In order to access the east of the island, the government recommended opting for Autoroute 20 Est and Route 136. Otherwise, users had to exit at Côte-Vertu Boulevard to be able to re-enter the Métropolitaine Autoroute from the Cavendish Boulevard. Congestion was then to be expected.
Each year, on average, the Ministry of Transport uses approximately 3.5 million liters of white paint to mark lines on the various highways in the province.