Day 1 of Hwy 417 closure causes long traffic jams

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The closure of the major vehicular artery that runs through Ottawa began creating major traffic disruptions early Friday.

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Highway 417 is closed between Metcalfe Street and Carling Avenue for the replacement of the bridge over Booth Street. The closure began Thursday at 8 p.m. and is slated to end at 6 a.m. on Monday, August 15.

On Friday morning, motorists entered long queues to exit the highway before the closure.

Watch live: Booth Street Bridge replacement to close section of Highway 417 for more than three days

Traffic cameras showed westbound cars and trucks backed up single file from the Metcalfe Street exit all the way to the Vanier Parkway and at times past it. Eastbound traffic extended from the Carling Avenue exit past Woodroffe Avenue.

Progress appeared slow for the vehicles stuck in traffic as they were funneled down to one lane to exit the highway and enter a detour designed to bring them around the disruption and back onto the highway.

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The detours forced westbound drivers off the highway at Metcalfe Street and pushed them onto Catherine Street, then Bronson Avenue, then Carling Avenue, and finally back onto the highway. Eastbound drivers were funneled off the highway at the Carling Avenue exit, told to turn onto Bronson Avenue, then Chamberlain Avenue, and finally to Isabella Street before re-entering the highway at the Metcalfe Street ramp.

Traffic cameras showed a constant stream of vehicles on the detour roads, with volume in some areas, but the main slowdowns appeared to occur on the highways before the detours.

You can track traffic conditions on the city of Ottawa map here:

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