Jacques Cartier Bridge

A jewel of our heritage, the Jacques Cartier Bridge is an icon of the Montreal region and has been a fixture of the city’s skyline since 1930.

The Jacques Cartier Bridge is a five-lane bridge that connects Montreal to Longueuil. It also has entrance and exit ramps to Île Sainte-Hélène.



The three-lane bridge was opened to traffic on May 14, 1930 and inaugurated on May 24, 1930. On June 23, 1934, in response to public demand following a petition started by Le Devoir editor Georges Pelletier, the Harbour Commissioners of Montreal adopted a resolution recommending to His Excellency the Governor General in Council that the Harbour Bridge be renamed the “Jacques Cartier Bridge” in homage to the French explorer and in recognition of the 400th anniversary of his arrival in Canada in 1534.

Key dates

From Longueuil, people could take two ferries to Montreal during the summer in 1921. During the winter, motorists could risk crossing an ice bridge during the few weeks of severe cold. The need for a new link between Montreal and the South Shore was becoming more and more urgent. On August 14, 1922 a competition is launched for the bridge site. The Harbour Commissioners of Montreal announce that they have selected the Monsarrat and Pratley of Montreal engineering firms for the project.

Communauté Patrimoine Jacques-Cartier historique

1929. Construction of the Jacques Cartier Bridge



1929. Construction of the Jacques Cartier Bridge         –         1930. First operating year of the Jacques Cartier Bridge



The initial construction cost was approximately $20 million (1929), including expropriation expenses, and $23 million including the approaches on the fill sections.

The work was done so quickly that the contractors delivered the bridge in December 1929 instead of May 1931, or nearly a year and a half earlier than expected. Overall, the bridge construction took four years.



Over the past 20 years, major ongoing repairs have preserved the structure’s integrity and ensured that the bridge remains safe.

Full redecking of the Jacques Cartier Bridge, 2001 – 2002

  • First design-build project conducted in Canada on existing infrastructure.
  • Design Award from the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) for “Best Rehabilitated Bridge” in North America (read more).

Painting of the steel structure, 1989 – 2000

  • Full repainting of the structure.

Communaute Patrimoine Jacques-Cartier entretien


Normal traffic lane configuration


Mornings from 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.*

  • Three lanes open towards Montreal.
  • Two lanes open towards the South Shore.


  • Two lanes open towards Montreal.
  • Two lanes open towards the South Shore.
  • Maintenance works frequently occur between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. during weekdays: the fifth lane is then used in order to maintain two lanes open in each direction.

Evenings from 3 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.*

  • Three lanes open towards the South Shore.
  • Two lanes open towards Montreal.


  • One lane open in each direction from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. when there is little traffic.
  • The Sûreté du Québec uses the cameras on the bridge to determine when to close lanes according to traffic needs.
  • Some lanes are closed late at night as a safety measure because there is no central median on Jacques Cartier Bridge. However, the lanes remain open when there is a heavy flow of traffic.


  • Two lanes open in each direction.
  • A third lane is open in either direction based on traffic needs.

*These periods are subject to change according to the flow of traffic. The Sûreté du Québec manages the central lane and opens it according to how much traffic is on the bridge. The third lane can be open earlier or later, as needed.