To effectively carry out the delicate and spectacular operation to lower the suspended span over the St. Lawrence Seaway in January 2022, the NHSL team must reinforce areas of the steel structure.
This reinforcement work consists of:
- Installing special purpose bearings that will help the team take down the components.
- Stabilizing the steel section during the deconstruction.
Photo: Special purpose bearings.
Lowering the span and dismantling the cantilever sections:
The entire 2,200-tonne structure will be lowered as a single component onto a barge using strand jacks. The crews will then start dismantling the cantilever sections and anchor spans. These sections will be deconstructed chord by chord. Cranes will lift the steel components and place them on the ground so that they can be either recycled or reused.
Multiple barges are needed for the preparatory work to lower the span, which is why the pier and footing deconstruction was postponed for a few weeks.
Quick facts about the deconstruction
About ten spans have been removed so far, and this work will continue until summer 2022 without a winter break.
Since the start of the work in August 2020, 1 km of deck has been deconstructed, and all materials have been sent to different types of specialized recycling companies that are authorized by the Ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques (MELCC).
Photo: Deconstruction of the spans and deck in the marine sector.
Finally, 3 km of modular trusses have also been dismantled. These structural reinforcements installed under the edge girders kept this vital corridor in place until the commissioning of the Samuel De Champlain Bridge.