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The current Champlain Bridge is reinforced, monitored, stable and safe

25 October 2018

Following the update on the new Champlain Bridge project, The Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated (JCCBI) wishes to reassure the public about the general condition of the current Champlain Bridge. Since 2014, JCCBI has deployed an ambitious program to reinforce and monitor this structure. JCCBI is putting every effort into making sure users can safely cross the current Champlain Bridge until the new bridge opens.

In order to keep the Champlain Bridge functional, JCCBI has implemented a custom-made modular truss reinforcement program, an innovative solution applied to the 100 edge girders. An additional program to add external supports to the bridge’s 39 pier caps is now complete. Also, over 335 fibre optic sensors constantly monitor the bridge. They detect any unusual behaviour in real time to ensure that JCCBI’s teams can respond quickly.

“JCCBI is diligently managing this structure. On top of the reinforcement work that has been completed, in the coming months the most likely work will be local repairs to the concrete, joints or slabs. Also, the most sensitive components undergo a detailed inspection every 3 months, in addition to the annual detailed inspection of the entire bridge. The fibre optic sensors that continuously monitor the bridge confirm that the Champlain Bridge is stable,” said Sandra Martel, Engineer and Interim Chief Executive Officer, JCCBI.

Inaugurated in 1962, the Champlain Bridge suffered premature degradation caused by corrosion due to the lack of an adequate drainage system and the use of deicing salts.

The Champlain Bridge is the main gateway to Montreal, with nearly 50 million crossings every year. It therefore plays a key role in Montreal’s economy.