Questions and Answers about the Champlain Bridge deconstruction

30 April 2019

Champlain Bridge deconstruction

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. Even without vehicle traffic, maintaining this structure would result in significant annual maintenance and inspection costs of $4 million to $7 million (excluding major work required to quickly repair deficiencies detected during inspections). 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?

Everything will depend on when the Champlain Bridge is decommissioned and the selected deconstruction scenarios. The deconstruction work should begin in 2020. The schedule will be confirmed with the contractor, who will be selected in January 2020. If the deconstruction methods recommended in the prefeasibility study are selected, we estimate that the total work duration will be between 2 to 3 years.

How much will it cost to deconstruct the Champlain Bridge?

The preliminary assessment for the deconstruction of the Champlain Bridge is approximately $400 million, which includes the deconstruction work itself as well as material transportation, material reuse, asset enhancement, and the hiring of experts to support JCCBI. More details about the chosen method to deconstruct the bridge and the associated costs will be released in the coming months.

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.

What work will be done on the Champlain Bridge in 2019?

The most likely work will be local repairs to the concrete, joints or slabs. Other planned work will be done to repair any deficiencies detected from instrumentation monitoring or during inspections. This work could include the installation of a super-beam, a truss under the interior girders, or a replacement diaphragm.

Will public consultations be held?

Yes, residents will be invited to learn about the project during information days held on May 8 to 9 at the Centre for Sustainable Development, on May 11 at the Elgar Community Center in L’Île-des-Sœurs, and on May 13 at the Alphonse-Lepage Cultural Center in Brossard.

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 will be 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 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. JCCBI will also implement mitigation measures to reduce the project’s overall greenhouse gas emissions as much as possible.

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.

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

JCCBI will ensure that the community has a historical legacy of this bridge and will give residents an opportunity to express their opinions about the 7 hectares that will be developed through the asset enhancement program.