Review of work in 2016 Road closures and restrictions reduced by 30%

28 November 2016

This morning, during its technical briefing for the media, The Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated (JCCBI) presented its review of the major work that it carried out in 2016. Thanks to detailed and proactive planning, coordination with the transportation partners, and work done mainly at night and on weekends, JCCBI accomplished the ambitious program set at the beginning of the season while minimizing the impact on users. Major repair and reinforcement work was carried out on the Corporation’s entire network this year to keep users safe and ensure that its structures last as long as possible.

“We applied our unique expertise to a variety of complex projects this year, which included the deck replacement of the Honoré Mercier Bridge, the launch of the Solution Bonaventure environmental project, the illumination of the Jacques Cartier Bridge, and the reinforcement of the Champlain Bridge,” said Mr. Glen P. Carlin, Chief Executive Officer of JCCBI. “The Corporation will have invested over $268 million in 2016 to modernize and reinforce this critical infrastructure and keep it safe and fully operational.”

Our major projects

Champlain Bridge

To keep users safe until the new Champlain Bridge opens, JCCBI deployed exceptional measures on the Champlain Bridge, once again this year. The work included the installation of 48 modular trusses, which are the most effective reinforcement method. These complementary steel structures are installed under the edge girders to fully support them and compensate for any current or future deterioration. By the end of the year, 90% of the edge girders will have definitive support under the bridge. Once the edge girder reinforcement program is finished in 2017, 100% of the edge girders will be supported. To preventively manage the risks of this structure, which is at the end of its service life, five piers were repaired and eleven expansion joints were also replaced this year.

An integrated grading system (IGS) was set up to give all girders an overall score that takes the reinforcement measures into account. This new tool gives a more complete profile of the performance of the girder system and their reinforcements and shows a net improvement in the bridge’s structural integrity.

Honoré Mercier Bridge

After eight years of highly complex work, the major program to replace the deck of the federal section of the Honoré Mercier Bridge was completed on August 14. This project was one of the largest of its kind ever carried out by First Nations in Canada. Despite considerable technical challenges, the deck replacement was completed ahead of schedule thanks to the collaboration of the transportation partners and work done day and night, seven days a week. Starting in 2008, a total of 982 panels were required to complete the new bridge deck and extend the bridge’s service life for at least 75 years.

Jacques Cartier Bridge

In 2016, JCCBI conducted major reinforcement work on the entire metal structure of the Jacques Cartier Bridge. This work is part of the major repairs currently ongoing (2014-2019) to extend the service life of this iconic Montreal structure for another 50 years. This year, over 300 structural steel and concrete components, including the Île Sainte-Hélène pavilion, were reinforced.

Illumination of the Jacques Cartier Bridge

After a detailed design phase, work began in September to install 2,800 light fixtures on the superstructure of the Jacques Cartier Bridge for the celebrations of Canada’s 150th anniversary and Montreal’s 375th anniversary. So far, nearly one quarter of the project has been completed. The installation of the first light fixtures began this week and will be followed by a gradual start-up over the winter. Overall equipment functionality will be tested this spring before the project is inaugurated on May 17, the day of Montreal’s anniversary.

JCCBI is proud to lend its expertise to guide this project that will highlight Quebec’s expertise. A unique multidisciplinary project that reflects Montreal’s creative and engineering genius, Living Connections will become an exceptional visual landmark that will make the city a can’t-miss destination.

Solution Bonaventure

Launched in June, the Solution Bonaventure environmental project was designed to protect the St. Lawrence River from contaminated groundwater on land along the federal section of the Bonaventure Expressway. So far, 95% of the work in the West sector has been completed, including the drilling of thirty pumping wells and the construction of a contaminated water treatment centre. The plan is to gradually start up the treatment system by the end of the year. Work is currently underway in the East sector for the construction of a hydrocarbon containment system in 2017.

Bicycle and pedestrian network

To ensure the safety of users while meeting the growing demand for a bicycle path that is open year-round, JCCBI hired the engineering firm CIMA+ to analyze the feasibility of four-season bicycle and pedestrian paths on the Jacques Cartier Bridge. After an exhaustive analysis of all the issues and technical restrictions for the multipurpose path, it was determined that keeping the path open in the winter is not safe. However, testing will be done this year on a scenario to extend the opening period. JCCBI will also implement a new system for regular maintenance over the winter so that the path can be reopened earlier in the spring. A viability study will also be conducted on the Champlain Bridge Ice Control Structure this winter to analyze the possibility of a bicycle path in winter 2018.

To enhance the safety of its bicycle and pedestrian network, JCCBI will also implement several new preventive measures over the next few months on the Jacques Cartier Bridge and the ice control structure. These will include radar speed signs, speed limit signs and an increased police presence on the bicycle paths. JCCBI also plans to develop separate areas for cyclists and pedestrians for the Jacques Cartier Bridge in 2017.


Reduced impact on users

Thanks to planning and coordination with its transportation partners, JCCBI considerably reduced the impact of its work on users, in 2016. JCCBI optimized operations on its network by combining major work into seven blitzes and redirecting truck traffic to the left-hand lanes with a new truck control lights management system on the Champlain Bridge. This new system allowed the modular trusses to be tensioned without the need for lane closures.

Over 8,000 interventions were carried out on its network in 2015, and JCCBI decreased this number to 5,500 in 2016, which represents a 30% reduction in closures and restrictions.

JCCBI is currently planning work for 2017, which should include even fewer major road closures and restrictions. Work for the illumination of the Jacques Cartier Bridge will continue until next spring, and major work to reinforce the bridge’s metal structure will be ongoing until 2019.

The review of the Corporation’s 2016 work and a photo gallery of our projects are now available for consultation. Follow the Corporation (@JCCBI) and keep up with its active projects (@pontJCBridge, @pontChampBridge and @pontHMBridge) on Twitter.