Quebec Autoroute 73

Quebec Autoroute 73

Autoroute 73 (or A-73, also called Autoroute Robert-Cliche south of Quebec City, Autoroute Henri-IV from the Pierre-Laporte Bridge to the Autoroute Felix-Leclerc interchange and Autoroute Laurentienne to the north) is an important Autoroute in east-central Quebec, Canada. A-73 provides an important freeway connection to areas to the north and south of Quebec City, starting in the Beauce region and (currently) ending in the Laurentian Mountains north of Quebec City. Future extensions will take it farther north and south, into the Saguenay region and possibly to near the Maine border. Including concurrencies, A-73 is currently 116 km (72.1 mi) long.

A-73 currently begins at Route du Golf in Beauceville as a 4-lane freeway. It then narrows to a two-lane freeway. It widens again to a 4-lane freeway after 28 km (17.4 mi) in Sainte-Marie. Just after crossing A-20 in LĂ©vis, A-73 crosses the Pierre Laporte Bridge (the longest suspension bridge in Canada) into Quebec City. Since November 15, 2007, A-73 continues further south into Beauceville (Exit 61) and further extensions to Saint-Georges are under construction.

In September 2008, the Canadian Government announced that under its Building Canada infrastructure plan, it will allocate priority funding through a contribution totalling a maximum of $75 million for improvements to Autoroute Robert-Cliche which includes widening the remaining two-lane freeway to 4 lanes.

For 10 km (6.2 mi) through Quebec City, A-73 overlaps A-40, partially using A-73 exit numbers and partially using A-40 numbers. The routes split at a cloverleaf interchange, where A-73 joins the Autoroute Laurentienne (which in itself continues into downtown Quebec City, signed as Route 175 only but secretly known as Autoroute 973).

Heading north, A-73 continues as a multilane freeway north to Stoneham where it currently transitions into a brief two-lane freeway before converting to a 2-lane conventional highway as Route 175. However, extensions of A-73 are under construction; it will be a 4-lane freeway or at-grade expressway all the way north to Saguenay. It is unclear whether the long northern extension will be signed as A-73 or Route 175. It was completed to Stoneham by 2007 and Saguenay by 2011, except for a 3 km section just north of Stoneham that is due to be brought to freeway standards by 2013. Some of the sections just south of Saguenay were already being twinned as of early 2010. If the A-73 designation is extended to Saguenay it would likely terminate at Quebec Autoroute 70, currently the only autoroute in Quebec that does not directly connect to any other.

Due to the alignment change and the fact that both sections continue for a short distance as Autoroutes, some have suggested that the Laurentienne section of A-73 (along with unsigned A-973) be given a new designation, the most common (and most logical due to the fact it would be replacing Route 175) suggestion is Autoroute 75. It is unlikely that it will take place however.

The designation Autoroute Robert-Cliche is named after a Quebec provincial New Democratic Party leader of the early 1960s. Robert Cliche also led an inquiry into Quebec trade union rights in 1974. A foundation in his name is dedicated to preserving the heritage of the Beauce region through which A-73 travels.

The Autoroute Laurentienne name is derived from the Laurentian Mountains region north of Quebec City, through which the northern extension of A-73 is planned.

Read more about Quebec Autoroute 73:  Interchanges From South To North

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Quebec Autoroute 73 - Interchanges From South To North
... Notre-Dame-des-Pins 53* 20e Rue (future interchange) Autoroute Robert-Cliche, south of Quebec City Beauceville 61 Route du Golf (current A-73 terminus) Saint-Joseph-de-Beauce 72 Route Lac-Vachon Route 276 ...