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Champlain Bridge deconstruction

Lowering of the main steel span
What is the size and weight of the suspended span?

The suspended span measures 118 meters and weighs 2,200-tonne.

Why is this operation carried out in winter?

This operation can only be carried out at this time of year, when there are no commercial shipping activities on the Seaway. So this is a very short and cold time to carry out such a complex activity, and one that required a lot of planning and coordination between NHSL and JCCBI.

Why is the main span lowered in one piece instead of being dismantled on site?

The method is chosen based on local constraints (Seaway) and the efficiency of the method.

What work will be done in the short term?

The span will be removed and lowered onto an assembly of two barges using 6 strand jacks installed on temporary support beams. This is a Canadian first, plus it will be carried out in winter.

How long will it take to lower the span (under optimal conditions)?

This operation will take approximately between 24 and 48 hours, maybe a little more. The descent alone is 6 consecutive hours.

How many people will be involved in this operation?

About 50 people.

Will it be possible to watch this operation from the Estacade bike path?

No. The Estacade bike path has been closed since December 5, 2021.

Transporting the main steel span toward the South Shore
Will the span be supported by one barge?

An assembly of 2 barges will be required.

Once the span is on the barge, is the barge immediately moved to the shore site?

The barge will not be moved for several hours. The weather will guide us in choosing the moment to move the barge to the dismantling site.

Where will the span be transported to?

The barge will be moved on the St. Lawrence Seaway to be moored south of Léon-Gravel Park in Brossard. It will be dismantled in spring 2022.

How long will this trip take (under optimal conditions)?

Moving the barge to the dismantling site will take about 5 hours. It will be done in one trip.

Will citizens be able to approach the barge?

The site will be secure. Citizens will not be able to approach the barge.

Is this going to cause a lot of trucking traffic?

No trucking is related with the lowering of the span. As for the dismantling operation, a few trucks a day will use the road network with minimum impact on traffic.

What will you do with the steel after the span is dismantled?

The materials will be transported to authorized buyers for recycling.

Do you coordinate your work with your other partners?

JCCBI is an active member of Mobility Montréal and actively participates in various work coordination committees with all of Mobility Montréal’s partners to minimize the impacts of road and public transit projects on traffic.

Why does the Champlain Bridge have to be deconstructed?

The Champlain Bridge has reached the end of its service life and has to be taken down. Due to design problems with the original bridge, some structural components have deteriorated more quickly than expected. The weight of the bridge alone (dead load) accounts for 80% of the total load, while traffic (live load) only accounts for 20% of the total load.

When will the bridge be deconstructed and how long will it take to deconstruct?

Deconstruction work began in July 2020 and will end in January 2024, which means 43 months. 

How much will it cost to deconstruct the Champlain Bridge?

The overall envelope planned for the deconstruction project is $ 400 million and includes, among other things, deconstruction work ($225,7), environmental protection measures, the materials reuse program as well as the research and development program, in addition redevelopment of the shoreline at the end of the project (Héritage Champlain).

Will there be more major traffic hindrances during this work?

Not for the moment, as most of the work will be done from the St. Lawrence River without any major hindrance to traffic. However, partial traffic hindrances will be required on Hwy. 132 in Brossard when the spans are removed over this road as well as partial hindrance on René-Lévesque Blvd. in the Ile-des-Soeurs sector. 

How will the Champlain Bridge be deconstructed?

The bridge will be deconstructed and not demolished. This means that its components will be carefully taken apart to minimize the impact on the environment and the public. The exact deconstruction method is determined by the contractor, and the goal will be to create social, environmental and economic benefits in accordance with sustainable development principles.

Have you done an environmental study?

Yes, JCCBI is conducting a targeted environmental analysis (TEA) to enhance the environmental study conducted by Infrastructure Canada in 2013 for the construction of the Samuel-De Champlain Bridge, as this report also covered the deconstruction of the existing bridge.

What will be given to the community to commemorate the Champlain Bridge?

As part of the Heritage Champlain program, JCCBI will ensure that the community has a historical legacy of this bridge. In addition, a Heritage Champlain co-design workshop was organized in December 2019 with citizens who had expressed their interest during the public consultations. The report of this workshop is online. More information to come on Heritage Champlain.

Will citizens be able to get a part of the bridge as souvenir?

The Champlain Bridge had a big social and economic impact on the Greater Montreal landscape. JCCBI would therefore like to offer the public souvenirs to commemorate its significance. Details to come in 2022. 

In the meantime, if you have any questions, please email us. 

How can I find out how the project is going?

To follow how the work is progressing, simply visit the Deconstruction site page, where you can find live images, photos, information about the deconstruction methods, and the work schedule. You can also subscribe to the newsletter.

What will the catamaran barge be used for?

The catamaran barge will be used to deconstruct the original Champlain Bridge’s 30 spans over the St. Lawrence River by NHSL and its partners, who developed this unique tool that is 76 m long by 41 m wide (250 ft. long x 132 ft. wide), or an area equivalent to two NHL hockey rinks. The catamaran barge consists of two single-hull barges connected by steel caissons and beams welded to the barge decks.

This catamaran barge, which will travel along the river, is equipped with a system of six lifting towers that can support up to 4,800 tonnes and that will hold the deconstruction platform. Added to this remarkable machine will be about a dozen hydraulic systems designed to frequently move huge components with loads of over 30,000 pounds. 

Will it be operational during winter?

The barge’s winter operations will be more or less the same as in summer. However, during the winter, adaptations will be set up to protect the catamaran barge, and ice management will be put in place upstream from the barge.

Where will the materials be transported to?

The materials will be transported and reused locally, near the project site, by specialized companies for each type of material. 

Why did you decide to deconstruct instead of demolish the bridge?

JCCBI prioritized the environment and the quality of life for local residents. This choice requires meticulous deconstruction methods and prohibits faster methods such as blasting. With a focus on sustainable development, a project goal is to reuse the vast majority of the deconstructed materials. A materials management and reuse plan was developed to provide a framework for reuse and recycling options depending on the type of recovered materials. Overall, the Nouvel Horizon Saint-Laurent (NHSL) Corporation (the contractor for the project) is aiming to recover a minimum of 90% of all deconstruction materials from the original Champlain Bridge.

What measures are in place to minimize nuisances (dust, noise, traffic and debris management)?

JCCBI is closely monitoring all nuisances (noise, vibrations or dust). NHSL is committed to upholding these criteria and has put everything in place to stay within these thresholds throughout the work. If necessary, NHSL will propose additional measures to ensure compliance with these criteria. 

Do you have a research and development program?

JCCBI launched an applied research program to significantly improve our knowledge of infrastructure performance and sustainability. The research program will be conducted in collaboration with different Canadian research bodies. JCCBI selected 12 research and development projects that will take place during the deconstruction.

Material Reuse Competition
What are you going to do with the bridge materials?

JCCBI is deploying an ambitious program to optimize material reuse, particularly by integrating components of the Champlain Bridge into artistic, cultural or infrastructure projects. Other approaches include promoting the reuse of non-processed materials as well as recycling at local or non-local sites.  

The materials to be recovered or reused include an estimated 250,000 tonnes of concrete, 25,000 tonnes of steel, and 12,000 tonnes of asphalt. A minimum valorisation of 90% of all deconstruction material from the original Champlain Bridge is anticipated.

Can the public obtain souvenirs of the original Champlain Bridge?

JCCBI wants to offer the public souvenirs to commemorate the bridge. More details will come in 2022. 

In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact us by email.

What is the goal of the Call for Participation for the Competition to Reuse Materials from the original Champlain Bridge?

The goal of the Call for Participation for the Competition to Reuse Materials from the original Champlain Bridge is to invite any interested person, company and organization to submit a project to repurpose a component or series of components of the original Champlain Bridge.

Who can submit a project to the Call for Participation for the Competition to Reuse Materials from the original Champlain Bridge?

Any person, company and organization can submit one or more project(s) during the Call for Participation for the reuse of materials from the original Champlain Bridge.

Is there a fee to submit a project?

There is no fee to submit a project. However, if your project is selected, all the fees are at your expense:

  • The symbolic cost for the required project components, as detailed in the Component Catalogue.
  • Transportation costs to pick up the components from the storage site located in the Greater Montreal area.
  • The costs of carrying out their project.
  • The costs of promoting their project.
What are the steps to participate?

People, companies and organizations (“Respondent”) interested in participating in the Call for Participation for the reuse of materials from the original Champlain Bridge, are invited to refer to the Submission Guide for instructions and the steps involved.

For all information requests, please contact us by email.

What is the deadline for submitting the Submission Form?

People, companies and organizations interested in participating in the Call for Participation for the reuse of materials from the original Champlain Bridge, are invited to submit their Submission Form by December 31, 2021.

What if I don’t get a confirmation email that I have received my Submission Form?

First, check your Junk Mail folder. If you still did not receive a confirmation email, please send us an email so that we can look into the situation as necessary. 

How will we know that our Submission Form has been selected?

JCCBI will communicate with all the people, companies and organizations that submitted a Submission Form in 2022.

What are the next steps if our project is selected?

People, companies and organizations are invited to refer to the Submission Guide for instructions regarding the selection process. Successful people, companies and organizations will be invited to enter into a sales contract, pay for the selected components and coordinate the pick-up of components during spring/summer 2023.

Are you looking for particular projects?

Projects submitted for the Competition to Reuse Materials from the original Champlain Bridge must fall into one or more of the following categories:

  • Reuse for architectural, artistic, commemorative or creative purposes
  • Reuse / ownership for personal or private purposes
  • Reuse for construction purposes or the rehabilitation of public infrastructure
  • Reuse for environmental facilities or urban ecology purposes

Please note that projects of public interest will be prioritized and that projects will be selected according to component availability.

What are the selection criteria?

People, companies and organizations are invited to Refer to the Submission Guide for more information about the following selection criteria and their weighting. Creativity, public accessibility, public usefulness, and the commemorative aspect together are worth 40% of the evaluation. A contribution to sustainable development and the project’s feasibility are worth 60%.

Projects do not necessarily have to meet all of these criteria to be considered.

Will you perform an Integrity Regime eligibility check for each Respondent?

Yes, the signing of the sales contract is conditional to an Integrity Regime eligibility check for each person, company or organization by JCCBI.

Who will be on the Committee that selects projects?

The committee will include seven experts who work in the fields of the circular economy, architecture, visual art, urban planning, and industrial design, as well as representatives from JCCBI. The committee’s mandate is to provide recommendations to JCCBI about which projects should be selected, and JCCBI will make the final decision.

When will the components become available?

The components should be available for pick-up in spring-summer 2023. They will be stored at a site in the Greater Montreal area (location to be confirmed). Each person, company and organization whose project is selected must retrieve their components within the timeframe indicated in JCCBI’s notice of selection.

Will respondents receive a prize if their projects are selected?

No prize will be awarded. The people, companies and organizations whose project(s) are selected will get a unique chance to reuse parts of the Champlain Bridge at a symbolic price while actively contributing to sustainable development.

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