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2006 02 03
The Turcot Yards to the Turcot Interchange 3
A short history and the creation of a temple for the automobile

By Doug Scholes


The Turcot Interchange is a necessary part of the vehicular arteries that flow through Montreal. In theory it allows for the easy movement of cars and trucks and was so in the 1970’s when there were fewer vehicles. But as many who drive regularly today know, the Turcot Interchange is synonymous for traffic jams characterized by agonizingly slow movement during peak commuting times. The Turcot Interchange was a rational solution that did not foresee the rise in dependency on the automobile and the zealous attraction to the cult(ure) of the car as a religious-like affectation.

I suspect that people driving over the Turcot rarely think of the physical structure of the Interchange, of how it looks and what it could represent beyond the pragmatic reality of improving (?) and maintaining the flow of vehicular traffic. Despite the amount of time a regular commuter spends on top of the Turcot Interchange, they are never offered the kind of perspective that one gets from being on the ground beneath it and looking up. It strikes me that its composition (large stone-like pillars joined together at the top by horizontal beams) resonates with the form of the ancient structure of Stonehenge, speculated as a temple made for the worship of ancient earth deities.

[email this story] Posted by Alexandra McIntosh on 02/03 at 05:42 AM

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