Champlain Bridge Sector
Prefeasibility study on the deconstruction of the Champlain Bridge
The Champlain Bridge has reached the end of its service life and has to be taken down. To help the government make informed decisions about the deconstruction, The Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated did a prefeasibility study that included an analysis of the deconstruction methods and a preliminary environmental impact assessment. If the deconstruction methods recommended in the prefeasibility study are chosen, it will take approximately 3 years to deconstruct the bridge.
Four areas were studied and include the deconstruction methods, materials transportation, materials reuse, and asset enhancement. These areas were analyzed using a comprehensive approach and a focus on sustainable development principles. For each area studied, different options or methods were compared using a set of evaluation criteria relating to technical feasibility, economic spin-offs and viability, environmental impacts, and social acceptability.
Different deconstruction methods were proposed for the concrete, steel, piers and footings. The recommended methods involve deck removal procedures for the concrete, cranes and hoisting for the steel, sawing and cranes for the piers, and controlled explosions for the footings.
Road transportation is the proposed method, as this is a simpler, more flexible and much less expensive method compared to other options. This strategy can also be used to transport all deconstruction materials. Sea transportation will probably play a role for specific components.
The Champlain Bridge structure contains 253,000 tonnes of concrete, 17,000 tonnes of steel and 12,000 tonnes of asphalt. The prefeasibility study recommends reusing these materials as much as possible for the maintenance of existing structures. However, only a small amount of these materials (or approximately 15%) can be reused. The rest will be sent off site for recycling. Note that different recycling centres in Quebec may receive these volumes of concrete, steel, and asphalt generated by the deconstruction of the Champlain Bridge without capacity constraints.
Different asset enhancement options have been proposed so that some spaces and infrastructure can be restored for public use. The proposed scenarios include rest stops for cyclists, the enhancement of the natural environment, a historical and artistic trail, and multipurpose docks. The final enhancement scenario may be developed after consultations with the public and stakeholders.
Environmental impact study
This first report is a starting point for the consultation process with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and for more in-depth environmental impact studies.