An emotional day as we say #byebyeChamplain

3 July 2019

On July 1st, JCCBI welcomed journalists to the Champlain Bridge to let them capture videos and images of the last vehicles crossing the bridge before it was permanently closed after the opening of the Samuel De Champlain Bridge.

Three cars from 1962 drove down the empty lanes of the Champlain Bridge under a warm sun and to music from the 1960s as a nod to the date of the Champlain Bridge’s inauguration, which was June 28, 1962.

Several guests had a seat of honour inside the cars, including Mr. Eugene Joseph Diabo, a former Dominion Bridge employee who is now 88 and who worked on the Champlain Bridge construction from 1959 to 1961. Mr. Paul T. Kefalas accompanied him in a red Oldsmobile Starfire, followed by Sandra Martel, Hamza Azekraoui and Dominic Lavigne in a lilac Cadillac Biarritz. The last car was a white Pontiac Parisienne with Ms. Doreen Assaad, Mayor of Brossard, and Mr. Jean-François Parenteau, Mayor of the Verdun–Île des Sœurs Borough, City Councillor, and Member of the Montreal Executive Committee.

Earlier that morning, two urban artists got busy writing out a 32-metre (100-foot) #byebyeChamplain in chalk in the centre lane of the Champlain Bridge to mark the end of a story that has lasted 57 years.

Thank you to the entire team who helped make this event a success!