Champlain Bridge deconstruction | PJCCI

Champlain Bridge deconstruction

Keepsake from the original Champlain Bridge
Can the public get a keepsake from the original Champlain Bridge?

Yes, now that the bridge deconstruction is almost complete, JCCBI wants to mark its history by giving the public keepsake rivets to commemorate this iconic structure.

Two events will be held—one in Brossard and the other on Île des Sœurs—so that people can get a rivet from the original Champlain Bridge.

Due to their limited quantity, the rivets will be provided on a first come, first served basis. One rivet per person (aged 18 and over).


Date: Saturday, September 9, 2023
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Location: Centre socioculturel Alphonse Lepage, 7905 San Francisco Avenue, Brossard, QC  J4X 2A4

Île des Sœurs

Date: Sunday, September 10
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Location: La Station, 201 Berlioz Street, Verdun, QC  H3E 1C1

I wasn't able to attend the keepsake events. How can I get one?

Unfortunately, we handed out all the rivets to citizens over the weekend during two public events, one in Brossard and another one on Nuns’ Island.

There are no more rivets available.

Is it possible to receive a rivet by mail?

No, it is not possible to receive a rivet by mail, you must attend both public events on either September 9 or 10.

Do the rivets potentially contain traces of lead?

Yes. The rivets have therefore been safely encapsulated under a layer of protective varnish. A disclaimer will be given out with the rivets explaining how to handle them. 

This disclaimer also advises that there may be traces of lead in the paint on the keepsake rivets from the original Champlain Bridge, which is why these rivets have been safely encapsulated in a layer of varnish. 

You are therefore responsible for avoiding any damage or degradation to this varnish layer and for not handling the keepsake if the varnish becomes damaged, degraded or deteriorated. The keepsakes must not be handled or used by children at any time.

The Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated cannot be held liable for any resulting loss or damage and you must assume all of the risks associated with the keepsakes.

Why can’t children receive a rivet?

Rivets will not be handed out to children due to the possible presence of lead in the paint on the keepsake rivets, which have been safely encapsulated under varnish.  It is essential that this varnish layer not be damaged or altered, which is why the keepsake rivets should never be handled or used by children.

Are rivets available to everyone or just to people who live in Brossard or on Île des Sœurs?

The rivets are available to anyone aged 18 and over on a first come, first served basis.

Why did you decide to give out rivets and not pieces of concrete as Minister Champagne had mentioned in 2019?

JCCBI decided to offer a rivet as a keepsake mainly due to the material’s durability. The concrete of the original Champlain Bridge has broken down over the years, making it unsuitable for use as a safe keepsake that will last a long time. The rivets come from the steel superstructure, which is probably the most iconic part of the bridge for the public.

If they are no more rivets, can we get on later?

No. As mentioned in all our communications, this is a limited quantity of rivets offered on a first come, first served basis.

Héritage Champlain
What is the Héritage Champlain project?

Héritage Champlain will cap off the project to deconstruct the original Champlain Bridge and will leave a public legacy to commemorate this structure. Three sites will be redeveloped after land is freed up by the deconstruction of the bridge—i.e. the shoreline of Île des Sœurs and Brossard as well as the St. Lawrence Seaway dike—for a total area of 7 hectares. The Estacade will also be included as a mobility corridor that ties the project together.

Were any public consultations held for this project?

Yes, several public consultation activities were held in 2019 and included information days, an online consultation, a co-design workshop, and a “design charrette.” Overall, nearly 5,000 people took part in consultations to develop four main themes: connectivity, citizen ownership, biodiversity and commemoration. The development of the Héritage Champlain project was based on these themes.

When is work on the Héritage Champlain project scheduled to begin and end?

As per the current schedule, the work will begin after the deconstruction of the original Champlain Bridge, i.e. in January 2024, and will continue until December 2025. However, some of the work will begin on Île des Sœurs in summer 2023.

Will you reuse components from the Champlain Bridge to commemorate this structure?

Yes, some components from the Champlain Bridge will be reused for this project, such as steel components, beams, plates and parts from the orthotropic deck as well as four piers from the bridge that will be kept in place on both sides of the river.

How will Héritage Champlain give citizens better access to the river?

People can cycle or walk to the various features created at the three sites. A few rest areas built near the shoreline on the Île des Sœurs and Brossard sides will include urban furniture to let people rest and take in the landscape.

Material Reuse Competition: confirmed projects
How many submissions did you receive?

We received 28 submissions, which were analyzed by a committee of experts from the fields of the circular economy, architecture, visual art, urban planning, and industrial design as well as by representatives from JCCBI.  

How many projects were confirmed?

Agreements were signed for 11 projects. These projects have shown that they are feasible in terms of their design, execution, funding, timetable and logistics while representing one or more of the competition’s artistic, architectural, commemorative or community categories. They also include artistic works as well as industrial projects that will honour the memory of this important Montreal structure.

Why were the other projects not selected?

Unfortunately, these projects did not meet the selection criteria or had feasibility issues (in terms of design, funding, timetable or logistics). JCCBI thanks all individuals, companies and organizations that sent in a submission. 

When will the projects be completed?

It depends on each project, but basically over the next 3 years. Deadlines are variable and do not depend on JCCBI. 

Who analyzed the Submission Forms and made the recommendation?

The Submission Forms were analyzed by a committee of 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 made the final decision.  

Will Respondents receive a prize if their projects are selected?

No prizes will be awarded. The people, companies and organizations whose projects were selected will get the chance to reuse parts of the Champlain Bridge at a symbolic price (market value assessment of steel with recycling company) while actively contributing to circular economy. 

What will you do with components that are not used as part of this Call for Participation?

Components from the catalog that were not used in the competition will be recycled from suppliers who are already working on the project.  

What percentage of the materials are you going to recycle or reuse?

Focused on sustainable development, the deconstruction project aims to reuse and recycle the vast majority of materials. Overall, we are aiming to reuse a minimum of 90% of all deconstruction material from the original Champlain Bridge.

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 2023. In the meantime, if you have any questions, write to [email protected]

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).

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 2023. 

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.

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.

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