The Île-Mercier Bridge is no longer accessible to traffic as major spring flooding is underway in Quebec.
Local authorities announced on Monday that the structure, which links the small island of Île-Mercier to Île-Bizard just off the city’s West Island, will be closed until further notice.
Martin Guilbault, the head of operations for the Montreal fire department, said residents are not obligated to leave, but that it will be difficult for emergency services to reach them if they choose to stay.
“It’s not a mandatory evacuation,” he said. “People can stay if they want to stay.”
The move comes as Quebecers grapple with rising floodwaters due to heavy rainfall and warm weather setting in. Flooding has forced more than 1,500 people to leave their homes.
While evacuation orders have yet to be issued, Île-Mercier is one of the hardest-hit areas in the province. Many of the homes are surrounded by water.
“It’s a situation that we are following very closely,” said Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante.
Montreal police will be closely monitoring the small island, according to Guilbault.
WATCH: Quebec flooding too much for roadway drainage systems
— With files from Global News’ Billy Shields
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